Video recording and light intensity change analysis during cataract surgery using an animal model

  • Hideki Fukuoka
  • Ruti Sella
  • Spencer D. Fuller
  • Craig See
  • Natalie A. AfshariEmail author
Basic Science



To estimate light exposure changes during cataract surgery through intraoperative images simulated from the “patient’s perspective” using an animal model.


In this experimental study, a 3-mm maculostomy was performed through the posterior globe’s surface of 15 porcine eyes. Eyes were fixated to a glass slide and placed over an iPad camera. Video footage of a cataract surgery was obtained through the maculostomy for each eye, keeping light exposure parameters and focus constant. Seventy-five images, five from each eye, were extracted at pre-determined points, and mean gray value (MGV), a light intensity measure, was calculated. Differences in MGV between discrete surgical steps were evaluated using multiple one-sample t-tests.


This technique allowed for the capture of a full-length cataract surgery through a 3-mm maculostomy. MGV range was 14.21–132.51. Light intensity was similar across surgeries and varied greatly through each procedure. A 24% decrease in MGV between post-hydrodissection and post-phacoemulsification stages was noted (difference − 18.36; 95% CI − 30.50 to − 6.22; p value = 0.006). A 22.4% decrease in light intensity was noted after phacoemulsification in comparison to the starting image (MGV difference − 16.78; 95% CI − 32.45 to − 1.12; p value: 0.0375). Light intensity was similar at the start and end of surgery (difference − 7.15; 95% CI − 19.35 to + 5.05; p value = 0.229).


Light intensity changes through different steps of cataract surgery and may be minimal after phacoemulsification completion. This video and data may serve as informational and educational tools for surgeons and patients.


Cataract surgery Cataract training Patient education Maculostomy Light intensity 



This study was partially funded by the Research to Prevent Blindness, New York, NY, Unrestricted Grant. Research to Prevent Blindness, New York, NY.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ophthalmology, Shiley Eye InstituteUniversity of California, La Jolla, San Diego, USASan DiegoUSA

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