PURPOSE: We report two cases in which retained nuclear fragments in the anterior chamber after phacoemulsification and posterior chamber lens implant resulted in intraocular complications. METHODS: Case reports. RESULTS: In two eyes of two patients, retained nuclear fragments resulted in minimal anterior chamber reaction but substantial corneal edema and reduced visual acuity. Topical anti-inflammatory medications did not alter the postoperative course. Improvement occurred only when the nuclear fragments were surgically removed. CONCLUSIONS: Retained nuclear fragments in the anterior chamber can cause corneal edema and reduced vision that may be reversed by removing the fragments.