After cataract surgery, some patients will develop a haze in the natural membrane of the eye which is located just behind the intraocular lens implant placed during cataract surgery. This haze may result in blurred or doubled vision as well as mild to significant glare. This condition is known as posterior capsule opacity or secondary cataract.
About YAG Laser Capsulotomy
Causes & Risk Factors
There is no way to predict who will develop posterior capsule opacity, though it is known that it is more common in younger cataract surgery patients.
The only effective treatment of posterior capsule opacity is an outpatient, minor laser procedure known as YAG Laser Capsulotomy. YAG is an acronym for Yttrium Aluminum Garnet, the crystal contained within the laser. The laser works by creating a central opening in the opacified capsule. Through the cleared opening, light rays can pass freely to the back of the eye, resulting in restored or improved vision. The laser is only performed when the posterior capsule opacity is affecting the patient's vision. It is only needed once in most cases.
What to Expect
There is no preparation needed by the patient prior to the laser appointment. The pupil will be dilated with eye drops just prior to the laser. Only an Ophthalmologist performs the YAG laser surgery. The procedure only takes a few minutes and is entirely painless. Immediately following the laser, patients can resume their normal activities. Most patients notice vision improvement within a day following the procedure. Patients can expect some small floating spots in their vision for the days following the procedure. These will likely resolve within a couple weeks. If the YAG laser does not improve vision, the patient should contact their doctor for further evaluation.