YAG – laser after cataract surgery

Laser for after cataract (YAG laser capsulotomy)

A YAG laser capsulotomy is a special laser treatment used to improve vision after cataract surgery. It is a simple, commonly performed procedure which is very safe. During your cataract operation, the natural lens inside the eye that had become cloudy is removed and a new lens is inserted. In a small number of patients the lens capsule can thicken and become slightly cloudy and can affect light entering the eye. This means that vision can become blurred and you can experience glare from lights. This process can happen in the months following your surgery but most commonly occurs around two years following surgery.

What does the procedure involve?

When you have YAG laser capsulotomy the laser is directed at the capsule to create a hole which then enables light to enter through the lens. The procedure takes approximately 20 minutes to perform. You will have some drops put into your eye to make the pupil bigger along with anaesthetic eye drops to numb the surface of the eye.  The procedure is painless and causes minimal discomfort.

What are the benefits/risks?

After the treatment most patients find that their vision is blurred for a number of hours from the dilating drops. You can also be sensitive to light so it is advisable to bring sunglasses to wear, and you can also not drive for the day following the procedure.

Complications are very uncommon. Occasionally the pressure inside the eye rises immediately after the laser treatment. If this occurs, you may need extra treatment before you can go home.  Occasionally the opening made by the laser beam is incomplete, or not big enough. This will be discovered either after your treatment, or on your follow-up visit. If this is the case, it may be necessary to repeat the treatment at a later date.

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