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July 1969

Lens Aspiration Using a Side-Opening Needle

Author Affiliations

Miami, Fla
From the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Fla.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1969;82(1):87-90. doi:10.1001/archopht.1969.00990020089021

ASPIRATION of a cataract through a needle, a technique which probably dates back into antiquity, was reintroduced and modified by Scheie in 1960.1 It has provided the clinician with a relatively simple and safe means of extracapsular cataract removal in infants and young adults. The principal technical hazard of the operation is inadvertent rupture of the posterior capsule and anterior hyaloid face with the aspirating needle.

The purpose of this report is to describe the use of a new side-opening aspirating needle which reduces the possibility of this complication. This needle is the end result of several modifications which I have used since beginning lens aspiration in 1960. Early, it was apparent that the 22-gauge needle was of adequate caliber to aspirate even immature cataracts. Figure 1 depicts the aspirating needle which I began using initially. The length of the needle shaft was kept to a minimum (10 to

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