Foreign body removed from cornea with a needle (Video)

This video shows a small piece of metal stuck to the surface of the eye. It is removed from the cornea using an 18 gauge needle at the slit-lamp microscope. Particles like this need to be removed because they are painful, rust quickly, and can lead to infection and corneal ulcer. Sometimes it is possible to remove this debris with only a cotton tip qtip (and this is the only way I recommend non-ophthalmologists attempt this).

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To download this video, right click on a link below and choose “Save Target As…”

metalfbremoval.wmv (4.4 meg, Windows video file)

Screencaptures

Metal in eye
This photograph shows a small metal piece that has adhered to the cornea the eye at the 4-oclock position near the limbus. Metal pieces stick to the cornea, and quickly rust, and cause pain and lead to infection.
Metallic foreign body
The slit-lamp beam is excellent for determining depth of involvement.
Needle in cornea
This photograph shows a needle used to remove a piece of metal flake (from a grinding wheel) from the cornea. Special spatulas exist for this purpose, but a blunt needle works just as well and is likely to be more sterile.
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Dr. Timothy Root is a practicing ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon in Daytona Beach, Florida. His books, video lectures, and training resources can be found at:

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