Iris Prolapse after Cataract Surgery (Video)

This cataract complication is rarely seen. Here you can see a piece of the iris (the colored part of the eye) that has prolapsed upwards through the cataract incision. This particular surgery was performed with the “scleral tunnel” technique, where the doctor creates the entry incision through the sclera and tunnels into clear cornea before entering the anterior chamber.

In the second part of the video, you can see that this iris is keeping the wound open, and thus draining aqueous from the anterior chamber to the outside of the eye. Obviously, this is not a good thing and needs to be repaired with a second surgery, and the area better covered with conjunctiva.

Download Video:

irisprolapse.wmv (5.2 meg)
irisprolapse.mp4 (6.5meg)

Thumbnails (click to enlarge photo)

Scleral Tunel
This photo shows a scleral cataract wound from a complicated cataract surgery. You can see a small x-suture, with an area of pigment to the right of it. This is a bit of iris that is traped in the wound, and wicking fluid from the anterior chamber.
Iris Prolapse
Closeup of iris through scleral tunnel.
Scleral Suture
That’s iris on the right
Seidel positive iris
Seidel positive when fluorescein strip rubbed over area.

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:


  1. I have a prolasped iris and I know there is a new corrective surgery available, do you have any information on that?


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