PURPOSE: To report the jamming of 25-gauge instruments in the cannula during vitreous surgery for non-clearing vitreous haemorrhage. METHODS: Forty-five eyes underwent vitrectomy with 25-gauge instruments for non-clearing vitreous haemorrhage (VH group). The incidence of 25-gauge instruments jamming in the cannula was determined retrospectively and compared with that in 112 eyes that underwent vitrectomy for epiretinal membrane (ERM group), also using 25-gauge instruments. RESULTS: The 25-gauge vitreous cutter or light pipe became jammed in the cannula in three eyes (7%) in the VH group and the instrument locked inside the cannula had to be removed with the cannula. None of the 25-gauge instruments in the ERM group jammed (p = 0.022, Fisher's exact probability test). Two of three eyes developed giant retinal breaks near the sclerotomy but no retinal break related to the sclerotomy was detected in the ERM group. Examination of the cutter revealed blood trapped between the cutter and the cannula. CONCLUSIONS: Twenty-five gauge instruments may become jammed in the cannula in eyes with non-clearing vitreous haemorrhage. Clinicians should be aware of this surgical complication when 25-gauge instruments are used in vitreous haemorrhage.
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