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Phaco chop technique for cataract surgery in dogs
Cataract surgery is a standard procedure in men and for some years also in dogs. This excellent article gives an overview about experiences with the phaco chop technique, a bimanual phacoemulsification technique to remove cataracts, which is performed for more than 10 years now.

The technique was first presented at the 1993 3rd American-International Congress on Cataract, IOL, and Refractive Surgery in Seattle by Dr Kunihiro Nagahara.
He compared the lens with a block of wood and by applying chopping forces parallel to the natural planes of the lens lamellae, as one does in splitting wood, a nucleus can be cleaved with surprisingly little force and time.
Dr Nagahara used the phaco tip to impale and high vacuum to hold the nucleus while a second instrument, or chopper, hooked the equator and was pulled centrally, splitting the nucleus along its natural cleavage planes.

This was a breakthrough for surgeons who had been utilizing several minutes of phaco energy sculpting grooves and bowls in a lens.

Studies have shown that compared with four-quadrant `divide and conquer`, the phaco chop technique uses less phaco time and energy, significantly reducing endothelial cell damage.

Other advantages of phaco chop include reduction of zonular and capsular stress because forces are directed toward an opposing instrument and the phaco tip is kept in a central `safe zone` in the middle of the pupil. This technique has also been successfully adapted to the canine phacoemulsification procedure.

The larger canine lens requires some modifications, and lenses with hard nuclear and cortical material may not be amenable to this procedure.


Source: Warren, Christi (2004): Phaco chop technique for cataract surgery in the dog. In:
Veterinary Ophthalmology 7 (5), 348-351.




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