YAG Laser Posterior Capsulotomy

This image shows clouding of the lens capsule - this is called posterior capsule opacification - or PCO. PCO can be treated with a YAG laser - this takes about 10 minutes and is a painless procedure. The effects can be seen the following day.

This image shows clouding of the lens capsule – this is called posterior capsule opacification – or PCO. PCO can be treated with a YAG laser – this takes about 10 minutes and is a panless procedure. The effects can be seen the following day.

What is posterior capsular thickening?

Following cataract surgery about 1:20 patients develop a thickening behind the intraocular lens. This is called posterior capsular thickening.

How does this effect my vision?

Your reading vision may be particularly effected, however many patients suffer from glare and others can have blurred vision. This can effect one or both eyes.

What will happen during the consultation?

During the consultation your vision will be checked, your pupils will be dilated and the lens and retina of your eye will be examined. If capsule opacification is diagnosed then you may benefit from Laser treatment.

How does the laser work?

The laser is performed in the outpatient department. The laser makes small spots on the capsule and a vertical tear is formed, allowing light to pass straight to the retina.

Does this hurt?

The treatment is completely painless and takes about 5 minutes.  You can the red light aiming beam and sometimes you can feels a slight click.

What happens afterwards?

After the treatment a drop is given to the eye to reduce the pressure in the eye.

Are there any potential complications?

New research has shown that there is no increase in retinal detachment following YAG capsulotomy, however the retina can become swollen blurring the vision (macular  oedema) .

The pressure can occasionally rise in the eye, this may need treatment with drops. Rarely the intraocular lens can become damaged.

Rarely the treatment may need to be repeated.