YAG Laser Capsulotomy

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About YAG Laser Capsulotomy

This outpatient laser procedure is simple, commonly performed and very safe. Complications resulting from YAG laser Capsulotomy can sometimes occur but they are very uncommon.

YAG Laser Capsulotomy is a simple, commonly performed and very safe laser treatment, which is used to improve your vision, if a posterior capsule opacity forms after you have had cataract surgery with an artificial intraocular lens implant.

In a YAG Laser Capsulotomy, the ophthalmologist uses a special lens to apply a laser beam to the centre of the opaque, clouded capsule. This creates a small hole in the centre of the thickened capsule so that there is a clear pathway for light to get through. Currently, YAG Laser Capsulotomy is the only non-invasive way to treat this condition.
About 1 in 10 people who have cataract surgery develop clouding of the lens capsule. This can cause vision to deteriorate again after initially successful surgery.

YAG Laser Capsulotomy is a non-invasive way to treat the cloudy lens capsule to restore good vision.

It is performed as an out-patient procedure, and visual improvement is usually apparent within a few hours of treatment.
It is very uncommon to have complications after YAG Laser Capsulotomy.

Nevertheless, the following complications are possible following the procedure and careful monitoring is a routine part of the post-treatment care:

Increase in floaters: These appear like dots or wavy lines in the vision and they are the commonest side effect of this treatment, but they are not serious, and people learn to ignore them after a little while.

Increased pressure in the eye: This can occasionally occur immediately after the laser treatment. Before you are discharged to go home, additional treatment with eye drops or tablets will be provided, and you may be asked to remain in the clinic until the eye pressure has dropped to a satisfactory level. Typically this may take a few hours at most.

The laser capsulotomy opening is not large enough or is incomplete: The treatment will need to be repeated at a later date.

Macular oedema (swelling) and retinal detachment: This is extremely rare though it has been reported as a possible complication. Retinal detachment can produce a shadow in the vision or flashing lights accompanied by large floaters. Such symptoms, or any new blurring or distortion of vision should be reported urgently to your doctor for further investigation.

Mild eye inflammation, lens dislocation and lens damage (pitting): A rare complication which can reduce the clarity of the new artificial lens.
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