YAG Laser

The YAG laser is done in some cases after cataract surgery.

The natural lens of the eye is situated in an elastic-like capsular bag that holds it in place. When performing cataract surgery, the surgeon carefully opens the front portion of the capsule in order to remove the lens. After completely removing the natural lens, the intraocular lens is positioned inside the capsular bag. The capsule holds the intraocular lens and serves as a protective barrier for the back of the eye.

After cataract surgery, the capsule may become cloudy and cause blurred, hazy vision. Some patients may experience glare or halos around bright lights. This condition occurs in as many as 40% of patients who undergo cataract surgery and may occur months or even years after cataract surgery.

If a patient begins to experience glare or halos as a result of the cloudy capsule a YAG laser may be done without need for an anesthetic injection. There is no interruption in physical activity and no patch required after the laser treatment.

Dilating drops are instilled and the laser is used to create an opening in the center of the cloudy capsule. Most patients notice an instant improvement in their vision, while others experience a gradual improvement over several days. YAG capsulotomy is an outpatient procedure and takes just minutes to perform.

Laser surgery is still surgery with its own risks and benefits. Some new floaters or spots may be seen. In rare cases retinal swelling or detachment can follow this type of surgery as well. The eye pressure may rise temporarily after the YAG laser.

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