YAG Laser Capsulotomy
YAG Laser Capsulotomy for Posterior Capsular Opacification
What is the’Posterior Capsule’?
The natural lens has a cellophane–like outer membrane called the capsule. During cataract surgery this membrane is preserved to support the artificial lens implant. The posterior capsule is normally crystal clear to allow light to pass through it to the retina.
What is ‘Posterior Capsular Opacification’?
In about 3 out of 10 patients, this transparent membrane becomes cloudy months or years after cataract surgery, causing a gradual reduction in vision. This does not damage the eye in any way but merely makes the sight fuzzy.
What is the treatment ‘YAG Laser Capsulotomy’?
YAG laser is a type of laser used to disrupt this thickened membrane in the middle to create a hole through which light will pass through to the back of the eye unhindered. It is a non-invasive procedure.
How is the treatment carried out?
The procedure is done in outpatients. You will be given eye drops to dilate the pupil in the eye that is having the laser treatment. You will be taken to the laser room and will be asked to sit in front of the laser machine.
As with any procedure, laser treatment has risks. Serious complication are rare (<1%). An improvement in eyesight cannot be guaranteed. The main risks are:
- Retinal detachment.
- Macular oedema, where the retina become swollen causing blurring of vision.
- Raised eye pressure immediately after the procedure which can accentuate glaucoma.
- Lens may be damaged by the laser in rare cases.
What do you expect afterwards?
The results can be immediate, however your vision will probably be a little blurred form the drops and the dilation of the pupil. You will also see lots of floaters for few days afterwards. The vision will improve and the floaters will subside after few days. After 3 weeks, should you notice that your vision is still a little blurred please visit your optician for a check up and glasses update.
You will then be asked to rest your chin on the frame to keep your eye still. The surgeon will carefully direct the laser beam into your eye. The procedure usually takes no more than few minutes and is essentially pain free.
“As our eyes grow accustomed to sight they armour themselves against wonder.” Leonard Cohen