Purpose: To describe a technique for visualizing fluid turbulence and cavitational energy created by ultrasonic phaco tips.\ud \ud Setting: University Eye Clinic of Trieste, Trieste, Italy.\ud \ud Methods: Generation of cavitational energy by the phaco tip was visualized using an optical test bench comprising several components. The technique uses a telescope system to expand a laser light source into a coherent, collimated beam of light with a diameter of approximately 50.0 mm. The expanded laser beam shines on the test tube containing the tip activated in a medium of water or ophthalmic viscosurgical device (OVD). Two precision optical collimators complete the optical test bench and form the system used to focus data onto a charge-coupled device television camera connected to a recorder.\ud \ud Results: Images of irrigation, irrigation combined with aspiration, irrigation/aspiration, and phacosonication were obtained with the tip immersed in a tube containing water or OVD.\ud \ud Conclusions: Optical image processing enabled acoustic cavitation to be visualized during phacosonication. The system is a possible means of evaluating a single phaco apparatus power setting and comparing phaco machines and techniques.\ud Keyword
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