What is a YAG capsulotomy?
After cataract surgery, the intraocular lens (IOL) is implanted into the capsular bag, which is a thin, clear membrane that holds and supports the IOL in the eye. The membrane that supports the back of the IOL, called the posterior capsule, may thicken and become cloudy with time, resulting in decreased vision. This occurs in about 10% of patients following cataract surgery but can be treated by making an opening in the capsule using a YAG laser.
The laser creates an opening in the capsule, allowing light to pass through and restoring vision to where it was prior to the capsule becoming cloudy.
How is a YAG capsulotomy carried out?
YAG capsulotomy is an outpatient procedure performed in the clinic. Drops are instilled to dilate your pupils; these drops can take up to 30 minutes to work. Anaesthetic drops will be used to numb your eye before the procedure. The treatment is performed with you seated on a slit lamp, which is a machine similar to that used to examine your eye in the clinic. A contact lens may be placed on the eye to steady the eye and focus the laser beam. The treating laser light is invisible but there will be a bright light to enable visualization of the posterior capsule. Each laser shot lasts a fraction of a second and is accompanied by an audible click. This is not painful.
How quickly will my vision recover after the procedure?
You are likely to notice an immediate improvement in your vision following treatment, although it may take several days before your vision is fully restored. Most patients are able to resume normal activities straight away. You will be given anti-inflammatory drops to use for a week after the procedure.
What are the risks of a YAG capsulotomy?
YAG capsulotomy is very safe and has very few complications. The benefits and all possible complications will be discussed with you by Dr Goh.