Modeling Heat Transfer in the Eye during Cataract Surgery
Akkar, Sona; Bharadwaj, Koonal; Paya, Naweed; Shai, Adam
Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures in the world, and it involves using a technique called phacoemulsification. With this technique, the cloudy, crystalline lens in the eye is mechanically disrupted using a probe that vibrates at an ultrasonic frequency. However, this vibrating tip mechanism leads to frictional heat generation, which can potentially cause extensive thermal damage to fragile tissue structures surrounding the lens. In order to minimize damage due to this frictional heat, a coolant is typically used while the phaco probe is in operation. In this report, our goal is to model heat transfer in the eye using COMSOL Multiphysics software in three different scenarios: (1) under normal physiological conditions, (2) considering only the frictional heat generation from the phaco probe, (3) and considering both heat generation as well as heat removal by the coolant. Using a 2-D axisymmetric geometry to model the eye structure, we determined that using the heat source by itself results in temperatures far above the threshold of 328 K for thermal wound injury. However, with the addition of the coolant for heat removal, temperatures in the iris were lowered to less than 320 K, thereby reducing any thermal burn risk to the patient. Further analysis demonstrated that decreasing the coolant temperature or decreasing the probe?s operational power can significantly improve the safety of the procedure.
BEE 4530 Project
cataract surgery; phacoemulsification; frictional heat generation