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.
"I first went to Koch Eye many years ago after being referred there for a follow up appointment after being treated at the emergency room for an eye injury, That was the only time I actually saw Dr. Koch himself (who was very nice by the way) It is only in the last few years (since my old lady eyes have begun to need reading glasses) that I have come in regularly for my eye exam and glasses prescription. I never have any problem with wait time because there are several optometrists. Really the only thing I am not crazy about is their hours. I wish it was possible to get an evening appointment or that there was an occasional Saturday. The office staff is pleasant and courteous"- I.C. / Yelp / May 09, 2019
"The staff was great good exam. They took the time to explain what and why the we’re doing"- A.R. / Facebook / Jan 30, 2020
"I had been going to Vision World/ Works for the last 20 years for eye exams, glasses, contacts. When I was last seen a few years ago I was told my eyes had weakened and I needed -6.0 in my left eye and -5.0 in my right, a substantial increase from -4.75 left and -3.75 right two years before. Needless to say I experienced hyperopia and needed readers for the first time. I wasn't able to read labels, see my phone, or use a laptop without readers of at least +2.5. I was recentl...y seen by Dr Besen at Koch Eye who prescribed contacts of -5.25 left and -4.25 right. I'm absolutely certain that Vision World had me in lenses that were too strong because now I can see my laptop without readers, and I can see my phone if I hold it at arms length. Not only can I see better (for distance as well as close up), but the entire experience of walking into Koch, being greeted by reception, having a preliminary exam by the optician assistants, receiving a full eye exam by the optometrist, being properly fitted for glasses by the optician, and checking out with reception, is exponentially superior with Koch. Clearly the entire staff enjoy their careers, and are friendly, professional, and completely competent. Thank you, Koch Eye Associates! I will recommend you to everyone I know. Sincerely, Kate Carroll"- K.C. / Facebook / Nov 13, 2019
"Had LASIK on 8/14/2020, great experience, I was well informed of what to expect. No surprises. Dr. Gerber was very professional and has good bed side manners. For my follow up the next day I saw Dr. Bae and she was very nice, friendly and sweet. The entire staff at all the locations I have visited for eye exams, purchase glasses and/or contacts have been very nice. Very nice and clean locations, everyone wears a mask and practice social distancing as much as possible. I am glad I had this team for my surgery and my family eye care needs."- S.R. / Yelp / Aug 25, 2020
"This is one of the most easy going, kind, helpful Eye Dr I am lucky to have she keeps up with new eye Technologies which is very cool and has taken good care of my eyes and made all my appointment easy, and took the time to ask my concerns and cares about me to make me a happy patient thank you to her and all the great staff she has on her team :)!!!"- Anonymous / RateMDs / Aug 04, 2020
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.