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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. If the cloudiness affects your vision we offer a laser surgery called YAG capsulotomy to correct this problem.

Usually performed as an outpatient procedure, your consultant will apply local anaesthetic (eye drops) and use the YAG laser to create a small hole in the clouded back lining of the lens capsule. This allows light to pass through the membrane to the retina at the back of the eye and restore vision.

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

  • 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

(Following the procedure you will remain in clinic for 1 to 2 hours. You should not feel any pain after surgery). You may be prescribed a short course of eye drops.

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

Plymouth Hospital

Derriford Road, Plymouth, PL6 8BG

01752 775 861
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Pathology South West 01392 262 165
Radiology 01752 761 826

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