About MEAJO | Editorial board | Search | Ahead of print | Current Issue | Archives | Instructions to authors | Online submission | Subscribe | Advertise | Contact | Login 
Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology
Users Online: 676   Home Print this page Email this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size

  Table of Contents 
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 321-322  

Risk of breaking haptic of trifocal IOL and its management

Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University; Department of Ophthalmology, Specialised Medical Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Date of Web Publication15-Nov-2016

Correspondence Address:
Tariq Alasbali
Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University, P.O. Box 5701, Othman Ibn Affan Street, Riyadh, 11432
Saudi Arabia
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-9233.194090

Rights and Permissions

Fracture of an intraocular lens (IOL) haptic is a rare complication of cataract surgery. A broken haptic can cause serious damage in the anterior and posterior segments. To the best of our knowledge, a broken haptic in a high-quality, commercially available trifocal IOL has not been documented in the literature. Prompt and proactive action at 1 day postoperatively aided in addressing the complication and restoring the vision. We suggest that the ophthalmologist performed a thorough evaluation on the 1 st postoperative day and take immediate action after a discussion with the patient and relatives.

Keywords: Broken haptic, cataract, intraocular lens implant

How to cite this article:
Alasbali T. Risk of breaking haptic of trifocal IOL and its management. Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol 2016;23:321-2

How to cite this URL:
Alasbali T. Risk of breaking haptic of trifocal IOL and its management. Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2016 [cited 2022 Aug 19];23:321-2. Available from: http://www.meajo.org/text.asp?2016/23/4/321/194090

   Introduction Top

The volume of intraocular lens (IOL) implantation procedures is rapidly increasing, especially in urban area of rapidly evolving economies. [1] The main indication for IOL implantation is compromised visual function due to cataract that is affecting vision-related quality of life. Patient expectations of cataract surgery are high, and trifocal IOLs are a good option to allow good functional vision at all distances and maintain patient satisfaction. [2] Trifocal IOLs are composed of high-quality material and more costly compared to conventional IOLs. [3] Patients expect excellent quality of vision after trifocal IOL implantation. However, complications can occur during or after surgery. Broken IOL haptics can cause serious damage in the anterior and posterior segment. [4],[5] In cases with an intraoperative complication, prompt action in consultation with the patients can mitigate long-term sequelae and medicolegal litigation.

We present the clinical course and management of a rare intraoperative complication of haptic breakage of a trifocal IOL.

   Case Report Top

A 70-year-old male presented to the clinic with complaints of gradual onset of dimming vision in both eyes that was affecting his daily living activities. Both eyes were hyperopic with a refraction of + 6.00 − 1.00 × 160° in the right eye and + 5.00 − 1.00 × 140° in the left eye. The patient was suspected to have anisometropic amblyopia in the right eye.

Slit lamp examination (Topcon Corp., Tokyo, Japan) indicated normal anterior segments bilaterally. On gonioscopy, the anterior chamber angle was occludable with shallow anterior chamber of moderate grade. The pupil was round and briskly reactive to light. The lens had Grade 1 opacity in the right eye and Grade 2 nuclear sclerosis in the left eye. Dilated funduscopy was performed after pupil dilation with one drop of 0.5% tropicamide and repeat instillation (once) after 20 min. The retina was examined with a + 90 D lens (Volk Optical Inc., Mentor, OH, USA) and an indirect binocular ophthalmoscope (Keeler Ltd., Windsor, UK). The central and peripheral retina was normal in the right eye. The optic nerve head was normal.

The patient was offered cataract surgery with implantation of a trifocal IOL (Zeiss Inc., Jena, Germany) to improve vision, correct the refractive error, and relieve angle narrowing. A trifocal IOL was implanted in the right eye. There were no intraoperative complications, and the postoperative follow-up was uneventful. One week postoperatively, distance vision was 20/32 + .

Two weeks after surgery in the right eye, a trifocal IOL was implanted in the left eye. The surgery was uneventful. On the 1 st postoperative day, the patient complained of double vision in the left eye. On slit lamp examination of the left eye, the IOL was decentered inferiorly. The patient was taken to operation theater within an hour. At the onset of surgery up entry into the anterior chamber, we noted that one of the haptics was broken [Figure 1]. We reviewed the video of IOL implantation surgery and found that haptic had broken inside the cartridge during injection of the lens into the capsular bag. The lens was explanted and replaced with another trifocal lens of similar specifications.
Figure 1: Trifocal intraocular lens with broken inferior haptic after it was introduced into the anterior chamber before explantation 1 day after primary intraocular lens implantation surgery

Click here to view

At 1 day, 1 week, and 3 months after explantation and exchange surgery, vision in the left eye was 20/20 for distance and N1 for near without any correction.

   Discussion Top

Exchange and explantation of IOL have been documented from the USA that mainly reports implantation of an IOL of the incorrect power or placement at the wrong axis. [6] A previous report has been published of lens implantation providing good vision until breakage of polyimide haptics 12 years after surgery. [7] However, noting a broken haptic on the 1 st postoperative day based on patient complaints of diplopia, as in our case, is unusual. Video recording of the surgical procedure enabled us to note the presence of broken haptic in the cartridge. IOL manufacturing companies should ensure adequate quality controls and system checks to avoid similar incidents. Cataract surgeons are advised to carefully inspect the IOL before insertion to ensure that it is patent and free of defects. In case of lens haptic breakage, surgeon should explant and exchange the lens. Thorough discussions are advised with patient and relatives to mitigate patient stress and reduce the chances of litigation. [8]

A thorough inspection is required during preparation and implantation of a Zeiss trifocal IOL to minimize the risk of haptic breakage and resulting lens decentration causing monocular diplopia.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Cochener B, Vryghem J, Rozot P, Lesieur G, Chevalier JP, Henry JM, et al. Clinical outcomes with a trifocal intraocular lens: A multicenter study. J Refract Surg 2014;30:762-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
Kubal AA. Multifocal versus accommodating intraocular lenses: A review of the current technology, outcomes, and complications. Int Ophthalmol Clin 2011;51:131-41.  Back to cited text no. 2
The FineVision IOL: A New Trifocal Lens Design. Round Table Discussion in Supplement to Cataract and Refractive Surgery Today Europe; 2011. p. 3-11. Available from: http://www.centreforsight.com/sites/default/files/pdf/finevision-supplement.pdf. [Last accessed on 2014 May 18].  Back to cited text no. 3
Jurowski P. Broken part of IOL haptic as a cause of bullous keratopathy. Case report. Klin Oczna 2005;107:687-9.  Back to cited text no. 4
Caça I, Unlü K, Ari S, Aksit I. Spontaneous fracture of an implanted posterior chamber intraocular lens. Eur J Ophthalmol 2005;15:507-9.  Back to cited text no. 5
Simon JW, Ngo Y, Khan S, Strogatz D. Surgical confusions in ophthalmology. Arch Ophthalmol 2007;125:1515-22.  Back to cited text no. 6
Stallings S, Werner L, Chayet A, Masket S, Camacho F, Cutler Peck C, et al. Intraocular polyimide intraocular lens haptic breakage long-term postoperatively. J Cataract Refract Surg 2014;40:323-6.  Back to cited text no. 7
Lee BS. Medicolegal pitfalls of cataract surgery. Curr Opin Ophthalmol 2015;26:66-71.  Back to cited text no. 8


  [Figure 1]

This article has been cited by
1 An unusual case of hide and seek with a broken piece of a preloaded trifocal intraocular lens following an uneventful phacoemulsification
Tanie Natung, ThangjamA Singh, Ishita Pandey, OinamS Devi
Indian Journal of Ophthalmology - Case Reports. 2022; 2(2): 399
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
   Case Report
    Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded152    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 1    

Recommend this journal