YAG LASER CAPSULOTOMY
After cataract surgery, many patients develop a haze in the membrane behind the intraocular lens (IOL) implant. The vision may be blurred or hazy, resulting in glare or loss of visual acuity. This common condition, known as posterior capsule opacification (PCO), is sometimes referred to as a “secondary cataract” due to the similarity of symptoms. Cataracts, however, never recur following cataract surgery. Below are some common questions we get regarding PCO.
What causes posterior capsule opacification?
Posterior capsule opacification may be thought of as a scarring process that occurs in the capsule, or bag, which contained the natural lens of the eye. During cataract surgery, this capsule is left in place to hold the new intraocular lens implant. Proliferation and migration of lens epithelial cells onto the capsule after cataract surgery cause an obstruction of vision. Posterior capsule opacification is not preventable, but it is easily treatable.
How is posterior capsule opacification treated?
Posterior capsule opacification may be treated with a minor laser procedure known as a YAG Laser Capsulotomy.
What does YAG stand for?
YAG stands for Yttrium, Aluminum, and Garnet crystals used to generate the laser.
Is a having YAG Laser Capsulotomy similar to undergoing cataract surgery?
No, it is much simpler and faster than cataract surgery. No anesthesia is required. Once you arrive at our Houston surgery center, the eye is dilated. Your surgeon then uses a laser to create a central opening in the hazy capsule located behind the intraocular lens implant.
How long does the procedure take?
The procedure takes only a few minutes.
Will the procedure hurt?
No. You will hear small clicks or pops, but because the capsule has no pain fibers, the procedure is entirely painless.
What is the downtime after the procedure?
Patients may resume normal activities immediately, though are instructed to use anti-inflammatory eye drops for about a week. Most patients notice visual improvement within a day of having a YAG Laser Capsulotomy.
Will I have increased floaters after YAG Laser Capsulotomy?
Patients should anticipate some “floaters” in their vision following this procedure, which will likely resolve within a few weeks. Serious side effects are rare.