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For capsulotomy as a type of neurosurgery, see psychosurgery.
Posterior capsular opacification on retroillumination.jpg
Capsular opacification after cataract surgery
ICD-9-CM 13.19
MeSH D002387

Capsulotomy is a type of eye surgery in which an incision made into the capsule of the crystalline lens of the eye. In modern operations for cataract, the lens capsule is usually not removed. The most common forms of cataract surgery remove nearly all of the crystalline lens but do not remove the crystalline lens capsule (or the outer “bag” layer of the crystalline lens). The crystalline lens capsule is retained and used to contain and position the Intraocular Lens Implant (IOL).

Months or years after the cataract operation, the lens capsule can become opaque in about 30% of the eyes.

So before the advent of laser surgery a tiny knife called cystotome was used to cut a hole in the center of lens capsule, thus providing a clear path for light rays to reach retina. This procedure thus reduces the opacity of the lens of the eye. Currently this procedure is replaced by YAG laser capsulotomy.[1]


  1. ^ Cunningham, Emmett T.; Riordan-Eva, Paul. Vaughan & Asbury's General Ophthalmology (18th ed.). McGraw-Hill Medical. ISBN 9780071634205. [page needed]

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