Your questions answered
By Dr Veerle Van Tricht
During cataract surgery the surgeon removes the cataract and places a clear, acrylic lens in the eye. In most 50 percent of cases, the lens capsule remains clear after cataract surgery. In the other half, however, the posterior portion of the capsule (the part left intact) becomes hazy. This posterior capsule opacification (PCO), can occur straight after cataract surgery recovery but usually months or years later. When this happens, light is blocked from reaching the back of the eye reducing the quality of sight.
Fortunately, PCO can be effectively treated with a procedure called a YAG laser capsulotomy. YAG laser surgery will restore your vision to the level achieved after your initial surgery.
Is YAG Laser Capsulotomy safe?
YAG laser capsulotomy is the safest and only non-invasive technique for managing posterior capsular thickening.
What does the treatment involve?
Laser treatment consists of a beam of light aimed at the specific area of the eye requiring treatment. In most cases, the patient does not experience any pain or discomfort.
What happens on the day of the procedure?
On arrival at the clinic, your vision will be assessed and drops may be put into your eye to dilate the pupils. I will explain why you are having the laser treatment and answer any questions you may have. You will then be asked to sign a consent form.
YAG laser is always performed under topical anesthetic drops that make your cornea numb so you won’t feel the focusing lens being inserted on your eye.
During the treatment, you may hear a clicking sound from the laser and this is normal.
The treatment will take between 5 to 10 minutes and you should have clearer vision the next day.
After the treatment, I will prescribe Maxidex eye drops for you to use for a one week to protect the eye against any inflammation (plus Iopedine drops for 3 days to decrease the pressure in glaucoma patients).
You can check in with your referring optometrist or myself if you have any post-laser questions.
Will I need further treatment?
Because the YAG laser removes the central zone of the cloudy posterior capsule behind the intraocular lens, the condition cannot return. So only one laser treatment is required to permanently eliminate vision loss caused by PCO after cataract surgery.
You will be unable to drive following treatment as dilating drops cause the vision to blur and this could last for several hours.
You will need to bring a friend or relative to your surgery for support and to ensure you travel safely after the operation.
Don’t allow your secondary cataracts to limit your daily life, enjoy driving, watching your favourite movies or other activities by booking an appointment with me today!
If you require further information, please contact me.