How YAG Capsulotomy Can Help After Cataract Surgery

woman and man reading a newspaperOne of the most common occurrences following cataract surgery is the reappearance of cloudy vision. Many patients experience a condition known as Posterior Capsule Opacity (PCO) weeks, months or even years after surgery.

The condition is also referred to as “secondary cataract” and impairs your vision. It is most effectively treated with a quick, painless YAG laser treatment.

What is Posterior Capsule Opacity?

The eye’s natural lens is held into place by an elastic-like capsular bag. When performing cataract surgery, the surgeon will open the front portion of the capsule and remove the natural lens. Once removed, it will be replaced with an intraocular lens. The capsule will both hold and protect the intraocular lens from the back of the eye.

Following cataract surgery, the capsule may develop cloudiness that causes blurred or hazy vision. Some patients may also experience glare problems when driving at night. It is normal to have much improved vision after healing from cataract surgery, and then sometime later, noticing some or all of the following:

  • Blurriness or haziness affecting your daily activities.
  • Trouble driving because of glare from the sun or bright oncoming
  • headlights.

To treat these symptoms, your eye doctor will perform a quick laser procedure called the YAG Capsulotomy.

What is YAG Capsulotomy?

The YAG Laser used to treat post-capsular haze looks just like the instrument used to examine your eyes in the office. You will be asked to put your chin on a chin rest and forehead against a bar.

Your eye will then be mildly dilated and the YAG laser will create a new clear opening in the back of the capsular bag for you to look through.

How long does the procedure take?

YAG Capsulotomy is a quick procedure that lasts only two to three minutes. You will be asked not to rub or touch your eye for 30 minutes after the procedure, as that may cause a corneal abrasion. You can also expect to remain at your doctor’s office for about an hour to ensure no other complications (such as increased eye pressure) arise. You will be asked to return for a checkup within one to two weeks after treatment.

Is YAG Capsulotomy effective?

For most patients, YAG Capsulotomy restores vision to what it was immediately after the original cataract procedure. There is no pain, eye patch, drops or restrictions afterward.

Most patients notice an instant improvement in their vision, while others experience a gradual improvement over several days. Following a YAG Capsulotomy, you may resume your normal routine immediately. It is normal to notice some floaters in your eyes over the next few days or weeks, which should subside.

If you have had cataract surgery and notice a return of blurred vision affecting your daily activities or difficulty driving due to glare, contact Key-Whitman today to inquire about YAG Capsulotomy.

Watch our informative video on YAG Capsulotomy below.