Retained contact lenses

BMJ 2017; 358 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j2783 (Published 05 July 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j2783
  1. Rupal Morjaria, specialist trainee, ophthalmology1 2,
  2. Richard Crombie, consultant anaesthetist1,
  3. Amit Patel, consultant ophthalmologist1
  1. 1Heart of England NHS Trust, Solihull Hospital, Solihull, UK
  2. 2University Hospital Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to R Morjaria r.morjaria{at}nhs.net

A 67 year old woman attended the day surgery for routine cataract surgery. She had no previous ocular complaints. During peribulbar anaesthesia a bluish foreign body emerged from the superior fornix as a hard mass of 17 contact lenses bound together by mucus (fig 1). The patient had worn monthly disposable lenses for 35 years. She had poorer vision in the right eye and deep set eyes, which might have contributed to the unusually large number of retained foreign bodies. This case highlights the importance of appropriate candidate selection and monitoring of contact lens wearers. Double lid eversion and fluorescein staining of the ocular surface can reveal dislocated contact lenses in the upper fornix.


Fig 1 17 contact lenses removed by the anaesthetist during peribulbar anaesthesia. A further 10 were found during examination under a microscope by the surgeon


  • Patient consent obtained.

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