Type of Surgery

Information

Doctor Certified

Last updated: 02/17/2009

Definition

Laser posterior capsulotomy, or YAG laser capsulotomy, is a noninvasive procedure performed on the eye to remove the opacification (cloudiness) that develops on the posterior capsule of the lens of the eye after extraction of a cataract. This differs...

from the anterior capsulotomy that the surgeon makes during cataract extraction to remove a cataract and implant an intraocular lens (IOL). Laser posterior capsulotomy is performed with Nd:YAG laser, which uses a wavelength to disrupt the opacification on the posterior lens capsule. The energy emitted from the laser forms a hole in the lens capsule, removing a central area of the opacification. This posterior capsule opacification (PCO) is also referred to as a secondary cataract.

PCO formation is an attempt by the eye to make a new lens from remaining lens material. One form of PCO is a fibrosis that forms inside the capsule by lens epithelial (covering) cells that migrate from the anterior capsule to the posterior capsule when the anterior lens capsule is opened to remove the primary cataract and insert the IOL. Opacification is also be formed by residual lens cortex cells. The epithelial cells can transform into myofibroblasts and proliferate; myofibroblasts are precursors to muscle cells and capable of contraction. The deposit of collagen on these cells leaves the posterior lens capsule with a white, fibrous appearance. This type of opacification can appear within days of cataract surgery. The greatest capsule opacification is found around the edges of the IOL, where the anterior and posterior lens capsules adhere and form a seam, called Soemmering's ring.

Elschnig's pearls are a proliferation of cells on the outside of the capsule. This type of PCO can be several layers thick and develops months to years after cataract surgery. Elschnig's pearls can also appear along the margins of a previously performed laser capsulotomy.

A secondary cataract will also form from wrinkling of the lens capsule, either secondary to contraction of the myofibroblasts on the capsule or because of stretching of the capsule by haptics, or hooks, used to hold the IOL in place.

Posterior capsule opacification is the most common complication of cataract removal or extraction. It does not occur when an anterior chamber lens is implanted, because in this procedure the capsule is usually extracted along with the cataract, and a lens is attached to the iris in the front part of the eye, called the anterior chamber. This technique for cataract removal is not often performed.



NEXT:
2. Purpose

Advertisement

Search

Other Information

Laser posterior capsulotomy, or YAG laser capsulotomy, is a noninvasive procedure performed on the eye to remove the opacification (cloudiness) that develops on the posterior capsule of the lens of the eye after extraction of a cataract. This differs from the anterior capsulotomy that the surgeon makes during cataract extraction to remove a cataract and implant an intraocular lens (IOL). Laser posterior capsulotomy is performed with Nd:YAG laser, which uses a wavelength to disrupt the opacification on the posterior lens capsule. The energy emitted from the laser forms a hole in the lens capsule, removing a central area of the opacification. This posterior capsule opacification (PCO) is also referred to as a secondary cataract.


From http://www.answers.com/topic/laser-posterior-capsulotomy

Other Information

Approximately 56% of all patients achieve results of 20/20 or better and over 90% achieve 20/40 or better (which is good enough to drive without corrective lenses in most regions).1 Those with moderate to high myopia (greater than 7 diopters) have a lesser chance of achieving that result. As technique and technology improve, the results continue to improve.


From: Eye Surgery Education Council

Find a Qualified Specialist

Looking for a specialist?

Please enter your zip code.