During cataract surgery, the opaque material of the natural lens inside the eye is removed so that light may again pass to the retina and re-establish clear vision.
After cataract surgery, some people notice cloudiness (sometimes called aftercataract) after several months or years. In some people, it can become very dense and cause as much or more vision loss as the original cataract. This is due to the clouding of that part of the lens covering (posterior capsule) that remains in the eye after surgery ,on which the lens is placed.
This is the most common complication of cataract surgery. If the cloudiness affects vision, a laser surgery called YAG posterior capsulotomy may be performed to correct this problem.
The doctor will apply topical anaesthetic (eyedrops) so that you won’t feel pain. Then he or she will use a laser (YAG laser) to cut a hole in the clouded back lining of the lens capsule. This allows light to pass through the membrane to the retina at the back of the eye.
What To Expect After Surgery
YAG laser posterior capsulotomy is an outpatient procedure. The person may wait in the outpatient surgery area or the doctor’s office for 1 to 2 hours after the procedure so that he or she can have the pressure in the eye (intraocular pressure) checked. Intraocular pressure (IOP) is the pressure caused by the fluid inside the eye that helps keep the shape of the eye. You should not feel pain after the surgery.
Why Is It Done?
The decision to have this procedure is based on the same criteria as the decision to have the original cataract surgery:
- Vision problems are affecting your work or lifestyle.
- Glare caused by bright lights is a problem.
- You cannot pass a vision test required for a driver’s license.
- You have double vision.
- The difference in vision between your two eyes is significant.
- You have another vision-threatening eye disease.
The procedure is not needed unless vision loss caused by clouding of the lens capsule is seriously affecting the person’s vision and lifestyle.
How Well Does It Work?
YAG laser posterior capsulotomy reduces glare and improves vision. It is a very safe, simple and commonly performed procedure.