YAG Capsulotomy

All You Need to Know About YAG Capsulotomy

During cataract surgery, your surgeon implants an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) in place of your cataract. In time after your cataract surgery, your vision may become cloudy again, and it may seem like you are getting another cataract, however, this is not the case. Sometimes after cataract surgery the tissue enclosing the IOL, called the posterior capsule, becomes cloudy and blurs vision. The clouding of the posterior capsule can happen after several months or years after cataract surgery. When the capsule becomes cloudy your surgeon will be able to perform a procedure called a YAG laser. A YAG will open the capsule, making a hole in the cloudy capsule, thus restoring your vision.

What Exactly Is YAG Capsulotomy?

Yttrium Aluminum Garnet which is also known as YAG Capsulotomy is a procedure that produces infra-red laser impulses. Through a process known as photo-disruption, it is used to make small openings within targeted tissues in the eye. YAG Capsulotomy is used for the treatment of iris and secondary cataracts.

How Is the Procedure Done?

Removing the haze capsule is a very minor procedure where the eye only needs to be dilated. Before the procedure, your doctor will put some special eye drops in your eyes to dilate and numb the eye’s front. Your head will then be rested on the frame of the YAG laser machine in order for your doctor to focus the laser onto the capsule.

The laser will be used to make small holes into the capsule to remove the haziness, or opacity, of the posterior capsule thus allowing light to pass through it. The light then goes to the nerve layer in the back of your eye (the retina) which will improve your vision.

Because the procedure doesn’t require any incision, you won’t feel any pain or be at risk of developing any infections.

Who Should Have YAG Capsulotomy?

People who had their cataract surgery some months or years ago but start having problems in their eyes related to a cloudy capsule are often recommended to go for YAG Capsulotomy. Some of these problems may include having vision interfering with patient’s activities during the day, a decrease in patient’s vision, increased glaring, or having difficulty in visualizing the fundus.

What Should You Expect After the Procedure?

After the procedure, you shouldn’t feel any pain or discomfort, and you should be able to resume your normal activities immediately as you expect to see as clearly as possible after one or two days. However, it is normal for you to some spots or floaters for a few weeks after the procedure.

Like any surgical procedure, you will be expected to visit your doctor for a follow-up visit to examine your pressure and vision.

What Are the Benefits of YAG Capsulotomy?

  • It is an outpatient treatment procedure
  • Healing time is fast
  • The procedure is fast as it only takes a few minutes
  • It will restore vision back to baseline

Are There Any Possible Risks with YAG Capsulotomy?

It is very rare to have any serious problems with posterior YAG Capsulotomy because it is a very safe and effective procedure. However, just like any type of medical procedure, it might come with some degree of risk too. A very common one of such risks may be the pressure that rises within your eyes. But when you consult an experienced professional eye specialist for the procedure, you will be significantly minimizing the risks that may be involved.

How Long Does the Procedure Take?

YAG Capsulotomy only takes a few minutes. It is a simple, fast and effective procedure.

How Long Does It Take to See Results?

Patients who go for YAG Capsulotomy often notice their vision improving a few hours after having the procedure. Therefore, you should also expect to see as clearly as possible after a day of the procedure.

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