Abstract Healon® has been used in a prospective study as a surgical device for extracapsular cataract extraction using Kelman's phacoemulsification technique. The study comprised 38 patients divided into two groups. Healon and balanced salt solution (BSS) were randomly applied and the patients were agematched. The emulsification was done in the anterior chamber. Healon is shown to have a protective effect on the cornea as judged by corneal thickness measurements and by endothelial cell counts. Healon facilitated the procedure in several ways. In this study no attempt was made to remove Healon from anterior chamber at the end of surgery. It cannot be excluded that Healon may occasionally cause increased intraocular pressure. With regard to postoperative inflammatory reaction and wound healing, no side effects have been observed after use of Healon.