Laser treatment (YAG Laser)
Laser treatment (YAG Laser) is not unusual to be needed in up to 50% of patients
in the first five years after cataract surgery.
The lens capsule which contained your own lens is left in the eye at the time of
cataract surgery in order to support the artifical lens that is inserted in its
The capsule is usually completely clear, but months and even years after cataract
surgery, it can become cloudy and can impair the vision. The treatment of choice
for this problem is a laser capsulotomy. A laser is directed at the capsule and
a small cut is made with the laser to open it and allow clear passage of light to
the back of the eye. This usually improves the cloudiness and improves the vision.
Process of the treatment:
- You may have drops to dilate the pupil before the treatment commences.
- The treatment is performed in the outpatient department and takes a few minutes.
- Some anaesthetic drops are instilled into the eye.
- A lens is then placed on the eye and this allows the doctor to focus the laser beam
on the capsule. You will then hear some clicks and beeps of the machine when the
laser fires but you will not feel any pain. Usually about 20 or 30 shots are needed
to open the capsule. From your point of view it is important to try to keep still
during the procedure.
After the YAG Laser Treatment:
- After the procedure, the doctor may put some drops into the eye
- It is important not to drive to and from the hospital for this appointment because your vision may be affected by the drops and, for a short time, by the treatment.
- Side effects are rare. A transient rise in pressure within the eye may occur but you may be given drops to counteract this.
- Very occasionally the eye becomes inflamed after the procedure requiring treatment with eye drops.
If the eye becomes red and painful after this laser treatment you should contact us.