The anterior and posterior segments are well-demarcated territories of the eye, with surgical specificities of their own. Sub-specialization in Ophthalmology led to the differentiation of surgeons who operate exclusively in the anterior segment, as well as others who dedicate themselves to the posterior segment. Not infrequently, the anterior segment surgeon comes across circumstances in which the ability to work in the posterior segment would ease his task.


Retrospective assessment of the surgical videos of two cases in which the experience in retinal surgery helped to solve anterior segment issues.


Case 1) 59-year-old diabetic woman presenting with sudden decrease of the visual acuity due to a vitreous hemorrhage. In slit-lamp examination, lens sclerosis was also noticed. The eye presented with poor visualization of the retinal red reflex in the surgical microscope, which compromised the stereoacuity and consequently the phacoemulsification procedure. The introduction of an endoillumination device via pars plana at 6 o’clock helped to better differentiate posterior structures and increased stereopsis, facilitating the phacoemulsification.

Case 2) 70-year-old female patient with the diagnosis of retinal detachment and cataract. During phacoemulsification, an accidental rupture of the lens’ posterior capsule was made during nucleus removal. Performing vitrectomy cutter through a scleral incision allowed for the conclusion of the cataract surgery.


In spite of its small dimensions, the distinct features of the eyeball and orbit led to a process of sub-specialization in Ophthalmology. While focusing on the posterior segment, the retinal surgeon often is the best option to fix anterior segment issues.

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Filipe Henriques