Capsulotomy

The natural lens of the eye is held in place by a thin clear membrane called the lens capsule. The capsule completely surrounds the lens and separates it from the thick fluid in the back of the eye, called the vitreous, and the thinner fluid in the front of the eye, called the aqueous

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Posterior Capsulotomy

The natural lens of the eye is held in place by a thin clear membrane called the lens capsule. The capsule completely surrounds the lens and separates it from the thick fluid in the back of the eye, called the vitreous, and the thinner fluid in the front of the eye, called the aqueous.

The Effects of Cataract Surgery on the Capsule

Cataract surgery is necessary when the natural lens become cloudy and must be removed. When cataract surgery was originally performed, surgical techniques were not as refined. Both the natural lens and the capsule were removed during surgery. Newer techniques allow the capsule to remain in the eye and hold the implanted lens in place. Leaving the capsule in place during surgery is a great advancement because it allows vision after surgery to be more stable and provides for fewer surgical complications. Nevertheless, the posterior, or rear, portion of the capsule sometimes becomes cloudy after cataract surgery for reasons as yet unknown. If the posterior capsule becomes so cloudy that it effects vision detrimentally, a capsulotomy is performed.

What is a Capsulotomy?

 

In YAG Laser capsulotomy, an opening is created in the center of the affected capsule. The opening, created with a laser instrument, allows for the clear passage of light and eliminates the haziness that has previously been interfering with normal vision. The procedure is painless, very safe and typically the results can be seen immediately. In capsulotomy, as with any surgery, rare complications may occur, such as swelling or retinal detachment that can cause vision loss. A cloudy capsule will sometimes resemble the original cataract. Vision is cloudy or hazy and the patient is heavily bothered by glare. In fact, vision is so similar that some patients think that the cataract has come back or re-grown. However, this is not possible; cataracts cannot return once the natural lens has been removed. If your vision worsens after cataract surgery, it is possible your capsule is becoming cloudy. Your eye doctor should give you a thorough eye examination to determine the cause of your vision loss. If your capsule has become cloudy, your eye doctor can then determine whether a capsulotomy is necessary to improve your vision.

The Laser Beam is Conated (As A Cone) Rather Than Collimated (As

A Column), Thus It Comes To A Point On The Lens Capsule

 

 

        

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before (left)   After (right) YAG Laser Capsulotomy

An interesting side note concerns the path of the laser beam . Most people think the beam is a straight beam line, like the ones that are shot out in space. It is, however,  necessary for the laser beam in this situation to come to a point focus.  To accomplish this,  the beam is optically dispersed evenly, then it is optically converged to come to a point focus. At this point of focus a micro explosion takes place. The beam does not continue on in the shape of a reverse cone. Just beyond the point of focus a "plasma shield " is developed and causes a marked dissipation of energy within a few millimeters. This prevents the beam and energy that has been focused on the tissue to not damage the retina behind, or damage the cornea or lens implant on the way in.

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