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      Nd: YAG capsulotomy for posterior capsule opacification after combined clear corneal phacoemulsification and vitrectomy

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          To evaluate the efficacy and safety of Neodymium:YAG (Nd:YAG) laser capsulotomy for posterior capsule opacification (PCO) following combined phacoemulsification and vitrectomy for the treatment of cataract in association with macular hole (MH) or epiretinal membrane (ERM).


          Retrospective clinical study of 34 eyes of 34 patients who underwent combined cataract surgery and vitrectomy, developed PCO, and subsequently underwent Nd:YAG laser capsulotomy. Follow-up examinations included visual acuity measurement, evaluation of intraocular lens (IOL) centration, intraocular pressure (IOP) measurement, and dilated fundus examination.


          Nd:YAG laser capsulotomy was performed in all 34 eyes. The mean age of the patients was 65.08 years (range 45–87) and the mean follow up period was 11.05 months (range 4–23). The mean time elapsed between the last intraocular operation and the development of PCO was 10.00 months for patients with previous ERM and 15.33 for those with MH (P = 0.001, t-test for equality of means). None of our patients developed recurrence of MH, retinal detachment, IOL dislocation, or permanent IOP elevation.


          In our study, the most remarkable observation is that no complication occurred after the YAG capsulotomy, possibly because the eyes were vitrectomized and vitreous seems to play an important role in the occurrence of post-Nd:YAG complications. In addition we noted that PCO seems to occur earlier in the eyes undergoing combined surgery for cataract and ERM when compared with those where combined phacoemulsification and vitrectomy are performed for cataract and MH.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Vitrectomy: a pars plana approach.

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            Posterior capsule opacification.

            A complication of extracapsular cataract extraction with or without posterior chamber intraocular lens (PC-IOL) implantation is posterior capsule opacification. This condition is usually secondary to a proliferation and migration of residual lens epithelial cells. Opacification may be reduced by atraumatic surgery and thorough cortical clean-up. Clinical, pathological and experimental studies have shown that use of hydrodissection, the continuous curvilinear capsulorhexis and specific IOL designs may help reduce the incidence of this complication. Capsular-fixated, one-piece all-polymethylmethacrylate PC-IOLs with a C-shaped loop configuration and a posterior convexity of the optic are effective. Polymethylmethacrylate loops that retain "memory" create a symmetric, radial stretch on the posterior capsule after in-the-bag placement, leading to a more complete contact between the posterior surface of the IOL optic and the taut capsule. This may help form a barrier against central migration of epithelial cells into the visual axis. Various pharmacological and immunological methods are being investigated but conclusive data on these modalities are not yet available.
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              A systematic overview of the incidence of posterior capsule opacification.

              Reported rates of posterior capsule opacification (PCO) vary widely and are based on various definitions of PCO, varying lengths and intervals of follow-up, and the use of different surgical techniques, intraocular lens (i.o.l.) designs, and methods of IOL implantation. This study was designed to obtain a more precise overall estimate of the incidence of PCO and to explore factors that might influence the rate of PCO development. A meta-analysis. Published articles were selected for study based on a computerized MEDLINE search of the literature and a manual search of the bibliographies of relevant articles. Articles meeting selected inclusion criteria were reviewed systematically, and the reported data were abstracted and synthesized using the statistical techniques of meta-analysis. Pooled estimates of the proportion of eyes developing PCO at three postoperative timepoints--1 year, 3 years, and 5 years--were measured. There is significant heterogeneity among published rates of PCO. The overall pooled estimates (95% confidence limits) of the incidence of PCO were 11.8% (9.3%-14.3%) at 1 year, 20.7% (16.6%-24.9%) at 3 years, and 28.4% (18.4%-38.4%) at 5 years after surgery. There is no evidence of a significant decline in PCO incidence during the study period. Visually significant PCO develops in more than 25% of patients undergoing standard extracapsular cataract extraction or phacoemulsification with posterior chamber intraocular lens implantation over the first 5 years after surgery. Patient characteristics, surgical techniques, and differences in research design and reporting may account for some of the variability in reported rates. However, no specific factors were identified in the authors' analysis. More precise estimates of incidence and identification of risk factors for PCO will depend on the development of a standardized measurement of PCO and wider adoption of more rigorous study methodology.

                Author and article information

                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                26 March 2009
                : 5
                : 133-137
                [1 ]Department of Ophthalmology, “G. Gennimatas” Hospital of Athens, NHS, Athens, Greece;
                [2 ]Department of Ophthalmology, University of Athens, Athens, Greece
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Ilias Georgalas, Consultant Vitreoretinal Surgeon, 59 Chrysanthemon Str, 15452, Athens, Greece, Tel +30 21 0776 8374, Fax +30 21 0776 8374, Email igeorgalas@ 123456yahoo.com
                © 2009 Georgalas et al, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Original Research


                nd:yag capsulotomy, phacoemulsification, vitrectomy


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