Changes in intraocular lens position after neodymium: YAG capsulotomy

J Cataract Refract Surg. 1999 May;25(5):659-62. doi: 10.1016/s0886-3350(99)00010-3.


Purpose: To quantify changes in intraocular lens (IOL) position caused by neodymium: YAG (Nd:YAG) capsulotomy with 3 IOL styles.

Setting: Department of Ophthalmology, University of Vienna, Austria.

Methods: In a prospective study, anterior chamber depth (ACD) was measured by dualbeam partial coherence interferometry (PCI) in 32 pseudophakic eyes of 32 patients with posterior capsule opacification before and immediately after planned capsulotomy under mydriasis. Patients were divided into 3 groups with the following IOL styles: 1-piece poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), 3-piece foldable, and plate haptic.

Results: The capsulotomy induced a backward IOL movement in all 32 eyes (mean 25 microns; range 9 to 55 microns). It was more pronounced in eyes with plate-haptic IOLs than in those with the other styles. Precision of ACD measurement by PCI was 4 microns. Changes in ACD correlated significantly with capsulotomy size but not with preoperative lens-capsule distance.

Conclusion: Capsulotomy caused a backward movement of the IOL, which was more pronounced with plate-haptic IOLs than with 1-piece PMMA and 3-piece foldable IOLs. Since the magnitude of IOL movement in this study population was small, a hyperopic shift in refraction after capsulotomy will usually be small and not clinically relevant.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anterior Chamber / pathology
  • Foreign-Body Migration / etiology*
  • Foreign-Body Migration / pathology
  • Humans
  • Interferometry
  • Laser Therapy / adverse effects*
  • Lens Capsule, Crystalline / pathology
  • Lens Capsule, Crystalline / surgery*
  • Lenses, Intraocular*
  • Light
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymethyl Methacrylate
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pseudophakia / complications


  • Polymethyl Methacrylate