University of Iowa Health Care

Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

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Anterior capsular phimosis

Contributor: Jesse Vislisel, MD

Anterior capsular phimosis is the centripetal fibrosis and contraction of the capsulorhexis after cataract extraction. Individuals with zonular laxity are at increased risk for this condition. Mild to moderate amounts of phimosis are usually not visually significant, but severe cases may require treatment by Nd:YAG laser anterior capsulotomy.

Figure1. Non-visually-significant anterior capsular phimosis after cataract surgery.

Photographer: Stefani Karakas, CRA

Anterior capsular phimosis


Figure 2. Visually-significant anterior capsular phimosis in a patient who previously underwent penetrating keratoplasty for type II granular (Avellino) corneal dystrophy

Photographer: D. Brice Critser, CRA

Visually-significant anterior capsular phimosis in a patient who previously underwent penetrating keratoplasty for type II granular (Avellino) corneal dystrophy


Figure 3. Postoperative appearance of the patient in Figure 2 immediately (top) and 1 week after (bottom) Nd:YAG laser anterior capsulotomy.  Visual acuity improved from 20/40 to 20/25 after the procedure.

Photographer: Antoinette Venckus, CRA

Immediate post-op photo

1 week post-op


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last updated: 02/05/2016
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