About three million cataract surgeries are performed in the United States
every year, making cataract surgery the most frequently performed surgery
in the country. Cataract surgery is also a highly successful procedure—at
least 98 percent of cataract patients regain very good vision post-surgery—with
Most complications from cataract surgery are minor and treatable. Posterior
Capsule Opacity (PCO) is one common, yet treatable complication following
cataract surgery. The condition is commonly referred to as “secondary
cataract,” because it causes clouding of the elastic-like capsular
bag that holds the lens of the eye in place. PCO
is not a cataract, but the symptoms do mimic cataracts.
During cataract surgery, the surgeon carefully opens the front portion
of the capsule to remove the natural lens and replace it with the intraocular
lens. The capsule holds the intraocular lens and serves as a protective
barrier for the back of the eye.
It is not uncommon for cataract patients to have normal vision after healing
from cataract surgery and then experience some blurring, haziness or difficulty
driving because of glare of the sun or oncoming headlights in the weeks,
months or even years after surgery. Following cataract surgery, the capsule
that holds the lens of the eye may develop cloudiness that causes blurred
or hazy vision.
Treating Posterior Capsular Haze
The most effective treatment for PCO is YAG Capsulotomy. During this quick
procedure, the pupils are mildly dilated and the YAG laser creates a clear
opening in the back of the capsular bag holding the lens implant. This
often restores vision back to what it was soon after the original cataract
It can be understandably frustrating to experience cloudy vision after
cataract surgery, but it is a common occurrence and can be treated with
a quick, painless YAG laser procedure in your eye doctor’s office.