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    Managing complications using the Malyugin ring

    Ring represents best practice for expanding the pupil safely during cataract surgery


    Avoiding complications by mastering the surgical technique

    The ring, which has been designed to make minimal contact with the iris during insertion and removal, is introduced into the eye using its own injector. Specifically, it is inserted through the primary corneal incision at the start of the phacoemulsification stage of surgery, although for eyes that experience unexpected intraoperative pupillary constriction, such as in intraoperative floppy iris syndrome (IFIS), the ring can be safely inserted at a later stage.

    The injector must be used to move the ring forward and engage its distal scroll with the iris. It is important to then continue inserting the ring while moving the injector in a backward direction towards the primary incision.

    Once the lateral scrolls emerge from the injector, they will latch onto the edge of the iris and the proximal scroll will emerge smoothly from the injector. The injector can then be completely removed from the eye in a quick and fluid motion.

    I have used the ring for around 3 years and have operated on many eyes with conditions in which it is difficult to maintain pupillary expansion throughout surgery, such as pseudoexfoliation syndrome, traumatic iris and IFIS. While doing so, I have found that although the ring is easy to insert, care must be taken when attaching the proximal scroll as its correct engagement with the iris is important for avoiding complications.

    Failure to do so creates a small risk of iris damage if the ring unexpectedly disengages during surgery. Furthermore, an accompanying device called the Malyugin Ring Manipulator (designed specifically to assist placement of the ring) or a Lester hook should be used in conjunction with the injector to ensure correct attachment of the fourth edge – the injector alone will not suffice.

    Once correct attachment of the ring has been achieved, the next potential challenge to a surgeon new to the Malyugin ring is removal of the injector from the eye. While the injector usually exits from the eye with no problem, sometimes, resistance may be felt. If this happens, the surgeon simply needs to move the ring to the side a little to overcome the resistance.

    Just as care needs to be taken to correctly insert the ring to avoid ocular tissue damage, the iris can be damaged if the ring is not removed with due care. The Malyugin ring is removed from the eye by reversing the process by which it was inserted, with a Lester hook required to lift the disengaged proximal and lateral scrolls from the iris.

    The injector can then be inserted through the main corneal incision and hooked onto the proximal scroll. Once the injector and the scroll are firmly attached, the surgeon simply has to push the injector’s button backwards to start retracting the ring into the injector.

    Iris damage can occur at this stage if the ring is removed too quickly and without checking that the last scroll is fully disengaged before beginning retraction. To avoid this, a Lester hook must be used to disengage the ring edges at 12 o’clock and 9 o’clock.

    Once these are free, the ring can be retracted with complete confidence that the iris edge will not be caught and pulled. As soon as the ring is fully retracted, the injector can be removed from the eye.

    Cedric Schweitzer, MD
    Cedric Schweitzer, MD, is an ophthalmologist based at the University Hospital Bordeaux in France.

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