In ophthalmology, capsulotomy consists of treating the eye, more precisely the lens capsule, with a YAG laser. Performed by an ophthalmologist surgeon and their team, this procedure is quick and painless. Read on to find out in detail how the capsulotomy is performed!
What is capsulotomy ?
Capsulotomy is a surgical procedure performed by your ophthalmologist surgeon. This surgery of the eyes (one or both) is done with a laser.
This technique allows to clear the optical axis and gives back its transparency: the natural capsule of the crystalline lens can become opaque because of the multiplication of abnormal cells. For example, it will treat secondary cataract, which is a normal evolution after a cataract treatment.
After the operation, the patient will observe an improvement after a few hours, if their operated eye does not show any ocular alterations that could slow down or even prevent the recovery of their vision.
Some patients have reported the presence of black dots or floaters in the eye following surgical treatment. However, these effects disappear within a few days or weeks after the capsulotomy. If they persist too much, do not hesitate to consult your ophthalmologist, or our specialist Dr. Stéphanie Zwillinger, by making an appointment on Doctolib.
How is a capsulotomy performed ?
A capsulotomy is a laser treatment that takes place in several stages, in ambulatory surgery. A hospitalization is therefore not necessary unless your surgeon advises otherwise.
Firstly, in a preoperative phase, the pupil will be dilated with an eye drop. Then, an anesthetic eye drop will be applied to the eye to be operated on, or to both eyes, depending on the case. This is a local anesthetic; you are conscious during the procedure. Once the preparation is complete, it is time to proceed with the surgery.
The laser is then applied: it is painless since it is performed under local anesthetic. The procedure lasts only a few minutes. In some rare cases, a lens may be placed on the eye being operated on if it does not react as expected.
At the end of this surgery, a few drops of anti-inflammatory and anti-hypertensive eye drops are instilled into the eyeball. After being checked, the patient can go home. The next day, the patient can resume their usual activities without any risk of complications.
In the post-operative period, you will follow the medical treatment prescribed to you. It is common to instill anti-inflammatory drops in the operated eye for a few days. The goal is to avoid inflammation and intraocular hypertonia.
Finally, the ophthalmic surgeon will schedule an appointment to examine the eyes and ensure that the eyes are healing properly, and that the treatment is successful.
The COP9 team now gives you their advice on how to prepare for your capsulotomy:
- come accompanied, especially to be helped to go home after surgery ;
- you may experience some degree of glare, don’t worry. This is a side effect of the light of the microscope used during the operation ;
- Do not be afraid to resume your usual activities the following day.
Perform a capsulotomy with the YAG laser
The YAG laser works in pulsed mode: that is to say, it will deliver on a given point a significant energy, over a very short period of time. Unlike other types of lasers that work by thermal effect, the YAG laser will cut a very precise area that preserves the peripheral tissues.
Thanks to this very precise technique, visual acuity is recovered very quickly after a capsulotomy, with few side effects that could interfere with your vision.
This type of laser is used for other procedures, such as peripheral iridotomy.(article available in French only) This is a treatment for pupillary block. The YAG laser will make a small hole in the iris in a few minutes and without dilating the pupil, in myosis.
The YAG laser is used only after receiving ophthalmological advice, with examinations and proven pathology.
What are the possible risks with a capsulotomy ?
Posterior capsulotomy performed with a laser is a safe and non-invasive treatment.
However, Dr. Stephanie Zwillinger’s COP9 team would like to inform you about the potential risks that may occur following this procedure. These risks are rare.
- In the first few hours after the operation, the intraocular pressure may temporarily increase.
- Inflammation may be observed as a reaction to the operation.
Nevertheless, if the prescribed treatment is followed carefully, the anti-hypertensive eye drops, and the anti-inflammatory drops will ensure that there is no risk.
We hope that after reading this article on capsulotomy you will have found the answers to your questions about this ophthalmologic surgical procedure. As you may have noticed, it is performed under anesthetic, and the laser makes a thin incision in the eye, without impacting the visual field. You will regain normal vision the next day, and your only treatment will be to apply the prescribed eye drops.If you want to know more about our COP9 professionals, our specialties, or to raise your awareness about your vision? Don’t hesitate to subscribe to our social networks