About YAG Laser Capsulotomy
A YAG laser capsulotomy is a fairly common follow-up procedure after a cataract removal surgery. During cataract surgery, the lens affected by cataracts is fully removed, but the structure that holds it in place is left intact. This structure is called a capsule or sac and holds the new artificial lens in place. In some patients, this capsule can become cloudy a few months or a few years after their cataract removal. This clouding is called posterior capsule opacification (PCO), and fortunately, is quite easily treatable with a noninvasive laser procedure called a capsulotomy. We perform YAG laser capsulotomies at our Wakefield and Woonsocket, RI facilities, as well as at the St. James Surgery Center.
If you are experiencing any new cloudiness in your vision after a cataract removal surgery, contact Koch Eye Associates today to schedule a comprehensive eye exam. You may be able to benefit from this quick, low downtime procedure.
The best candidates for a capsulotomy are those who have had cataract removal surgery and are now experiencing blurred vision again. Some patients even mistakenly believe their cataracts have come back, but this is not the case. As with any surgery, candidates need to be in overall good health to be considered and will need to have a comprehensive evaluation of their eye health. If you had a successful cataract surgery with no other complications, you will probably be a good candidate for a YAG laser capsulotomy. Some conditions that might affect your eligibility for the procedure include:
- A history of retinal detachment or tears
- A history of high intraocular pressure
- Active or chronic uveitis
- Macular edema
While your cataract evaluation can be done at any of our Rhode Island facilities, we perform YAG laser capsulotomies at our Wakefield and Woonsocket, RI offices and at the St. James Surgery Center. A YAG laser capsulotomy is a noninvasive outpatient procedure that typically only takes about 15 – 20 minutes. Prior to your capsulotomy, a member of our Koch Eye Associates team will administer numbing and dilation drops to your affected eye. Once the drops have taken effect, you will be required to sit very still as your ophthalmologist directs the special YAG laser to a strategic point at the back of the capsule. The laser beam creates an extremely tiny hole in the capsule in order to let light through, which reduces or eliminates the effect of the cloudiness.
We usually ask our surgery patients to come back the next day for an initial follow-up visit and then again in a week or so. These follow-ups are very important as they are how we ensure that the procedure has worked as expected and that you aren’t experiencing any complications. Most patients report mild to no discomfort after a capsulotomy, but if you do, it should ease within a couple of days. You will most likely be given prescriptions for anti-inflammatory and antibiotic eye drops to use for a few weeks, but you should be able to resume your daily activities right away. Patients typically have a noticeable improvement in their vision about 24 hours after the procedure.
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after cataracts surgery
At Koch Eye Associates, we understand that experiencing blurred or clouded vision again after a cataracts surgery can be frustrating or even frightening. It is important to know that cataracts cannot return, and the blurriness you have is most likely a very common, very easy-to-treat condition called posterior capsule opacification (PCO). If you believe you may be suffering from PCO, contact one of our Rhode Island facilities near you to schedule your consultation. Our experienced eye health professionals can put your mind at ease and start you on the path back to clearer vision.