Sometimes we attempt to use phaco chop to divide the cataract nucleus, but we are just not able to achieve separation of the nuclear pieces. This can be due to multiple reasons such as insufficient vacuum level, inability to occlude the phaco tip, crumbling of a soft cataract and poor holding of the nucleus.
If phaco chop is not working, then revert back to another technique such as stop-and-chop or even divide-and-conquer. In the case shown here, the chop is not effective because the phaco tip is not sufficiently buried into the nucleus. By switching to stop-and-chop, we can achieve the initial division of the cataract into two heminucleus pieces which can then be phaco-aspirated.
Click below to see how we revert to stop-and-chop if the initial chop fails: