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April 2007

The Ongoing Battle Against Posterior Capsular Opacification

Arch Ophthalmol. 2007;125(4):555-556. doi:10.1001/archopht.125.4.555

Posterior capsular opacification (PCO) remains the most common complication of cataract surgery. In a 1998 meta-analysis, PCO rates for adult eyes of 11.8% after 1 year and 28.4% after 5 years were reported.1 Advances in surgical technique and improvements in intraocular lens (IOL) material and design have reduced the rate of PCO or, at least, have prolonged its onset. None of our current technologies or techniques has been able to prevent it in every patient.2 When lens removal surgery is performed in young adults and children, PCO is even more of a menace with a higher incidence and a quicker onset. Recent interest in clear lens extraction surgery has renewed the concern about PCO for surgeons who operate exclusively on adults. For those of us who also operate on children, where the incidence of PCO after pediatric cataract surgery may reach 100% if the posterior capsule is left intact, techniques that may prevent or delay the onset of PCO are of particular interest.3

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