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A small proportion of patients will develop clouding of the capsule which covers the lens following cataract surgery. This is called posterior capsule opacification or PCO and feels similar to the original cataract. If this develops we offer a laser surgery called YAG capsulotomy to correct the problem.

What is YAG capsulotomy?

YAG capsulotomy is a laser surgery that is performed to create a small hole in the cloudy lens capsule. This allows light to pass through the membrane to the retina at the back of the eye and restore vision.

Is YAG capsulotomy right for me?

The decision to have this procedure is based on the same criteria as the decision to have the original cataract surgery: Your symptoms may include

  • Vision problems are affecting your work or lifestyle
  • Glare caused by bright lights is a problem
  • You cannot pass a vision test required for a driver's license because of PCO
  • You experience blurred or ghosting in your vision
  • The difference in vision between your two eyes is significant

What happens during YAG capsulotomy?

YAG capsulotomy is performed as an outpatient procedure, usually at the same appointment as your assessment. If necessary, it is possible to treat both eyes at the same visit.

In order to do the treatment your consultant will dilate the pupils, apply local anaesthetic (eye drops) and use the YAG laser to create a small hole in the cloudy the lens capsule.

YAG capsulotomy recovery

You can leave the hospital immediately following the procedure so you should be seen and treated in less than an hour. You should not feel any pain during or after the laser surgery.

Risks of YAG capsulotomy

As with cataract surgery, it is important to weigh the risks and possible benefits of laser capsulotomy before deciding to have the surgery. However YAG laser capsulotomy is a very low risk procedure. These should be discussed with your Consultant prior to surgery.

Newcastle upon Tyne Hospital

Clayton Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE2 1JP

01912 816 131
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