The capsulotomy, also known as the capsulorhexis, involves creating an opening into the actual lens to allow liquefication and removal of the lens. Made incorrectly, the outer lens capsule may tear and lead to complications.
This is part of a series of articles we are publishing to inform and educate our patients about the advantages of laser cataract surgery.
There are several steps of cataract surgery. These are the steps of laser cataract surgery where the laser is very useful.
- Corneal Incision
- Capsulorhexis (capsulotomy)
- Removal of the Cataract
- Implantation of the Intraocular Lens
- Treat Astigmatism
The Capsulorhexis, aka Capsulotomy
The capsolorhexis is the second step in laser cataract surgery.
The capsulorhexis is an opening made in the front of the lens which has become a cataract. This allows the surgeon to remove the lens material after it has been liquefied.
To picture this in your mind, think of the as an M&M piece of candy. The outer candy coating is the outer shell of the lens and the inner chocolate is the actual lens material. The caposulorhexis is a circular opening made in the front have of the candy coating. This allows the surgeon to liquefy the inner lens material, or chocolate, and remove it from the eye.
The desired shape of the capsulorhexis is a perfect circle. This keeps the remaining out membrane (candy coating shell in our analogy) strong and stable to support and hold the intraocular lens implant.
Femtosecond Laser Capsulorhexis
Because the shape of the opening is crucial, the laser almost guarantees the size and shape will be perfect time and time again. This allows a safer removal of the lens material and leaves a stronger and more stable support for the implant.
Before the advent of laser cataract surgery, the capsulorhexis had to be performed by hand. The laser created capsulorhexis is actually stronger than the hand made opening.