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May 1965

Intraocular Erosion of Circling Polyethylene Tubing and Silicone Plate

Author Affiliations

Washington, DC
From the Registry of Ophthalmic Pathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. Special Fellow in Ophthalmic Pathology of the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness, National Institutes of Health, at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (Dr. Smith); Chief, Ophthalmic Pathology Branch, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (Dr. Zimmerman).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1965;73(5):618-620. doi:10.1001/archopht.1965.00970030620004

In the scleral buckling operation for retinal detachment, the use of circling polyethylene tubing is not without complications. Boniuk and Zimmerman first reported three cases in which extensive necrosis of the iris and ciliary body occurred after this procedure.1 In two of these cases there was also necrosis of the lens and retina. These complications were believed to have been secondary to the interference with the blood supply of the eye as a result of surgery. A later, more extensive study by the same authors revealed that necrosis of the iris and ciliary body occurred in approximately 14% of 150 cases in which retinal detachment operations had been performed.2

Another late complication of this surgical procedure is erosion of the ocular wall by the polyethylene tubing. Recently, Regan and Schepens have reported on 42 eyes with this complication, including the clinical and historical characteristics of these patients.3

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