When we describe a cataract nucleus as leathery, we mean that it is fibrous in nature and our chops and cleavage planes tend not to propagate well. Ideally, a dense nucleus would be like dry firewood: easily separated by propagating a crack or chop down the entire length of the log. Instead, a leathery cataract is like wet firewood: you can start a crack or chop, but it tends not to propagate well and the pieces are not easily separated.
Our guest surgeon is Dr. Mohamed Sayed from the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, Florida, USA. In this video, he encounters a tough cataract with a leathery feel. He does a great job and the patient achieves an excellent visual outcome. The video is show in its entirety (at 2x speed) so that our young, novice surgeons can see the surgery from start to finish.
Click below to learn from Dr. Sayed’s case of a tough, leathery cataract: