The Asia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology

Asia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology:

Issue 5, September/October 2018 Perspectives

Non–Self-Sealing (Leaky) Anterior Chamber Paracentesis: A New Technique in Managing Postphacoemulsification Intraocular Pressure Rise in Glaucoma and Normal Eyes

Lam, Dennis; Lee, Jacky; Leung, Enne; Liu, Shirley; Yuan, Julianna; Ratra, Vineet

Author Information

From the *Dennis Lam & Partners Eye Center, Central, Hong Kong; †C-Mer (Shenzhen) Dennis Lam Eye Hospital, 1 Tairan 9th Rd, Futian, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China; and ‡Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai, India.

Reprints: Dennis Lam, MD, Dennis Lam & Partners Eye Center, Suite 1515, Central Building, 1–3 Pedder Street, Central, Hong Kong. E-mail:


Phacoemulsification (phaco) for cataract extraction is 1 of the most commonly performed ophthalmic surgeries. With increasing evidence of significant intraocular pressure (IOP) reduction after phaco, the paradigm for glaucoma treatment has been shifting toward more cataract extraction instead of glaucoma surgery; thus, the population of glaucoma patients undergoing phaco is likely to continue to increase in the coming years. Although the safety of surgery has improved over the years with newer technologies and machines, postoperative IOP spike remains an important condition even after an uneventful operation. Glaucoma patients undergoing phacoemulsification are particularly at risk of further glaucomatous optic nerve damage from the transient yet potentially high pressures after phaco. Common treatments include topical, intracameral, oral, and systemic IOP-lowering medications; postoperative anterior chamber paracentesis (ACP); and so on. No single treatment to date can guarantee effective prevention or control IOP rise in the first 24 hours after phaco. Sometimes, the IOP remains high despite all of the above treatments and the risk for further glaucomatous damage may be unavoidable. In this perspective article, we discuss the incidence, causes, and treatments of IOP rise after phaco and introduce a new technique, a non–self-sealing (leaky) ACP that may be of use in regulating postoperative IOP rise, especially for patients with glaucoma.

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