Ask the Experts
YAG Laser Capsulotomy
What is Yag laser capsulotomy ?
For some patients following cataract surgery, the capsule (bag) may become thickened causing blurred, hazy vision. YAG laser capsulotomy is a technique used to correct this problem.
During cataract surgery, the surgeon will have carefully opened the front portion of the capsule bag in order to remove the natural lens but left the back portion to support the new artificial intraocular lens (a lens implanted in the eye) The YAG laser machine makes a small opening in the capsule bag thus allowing a clear passage for light into the eye, improving the clarity of the vision, as long as.
What will happen during treatment ?
The treatment is carried out in the consulting room as it’s not surgery. It doesn’t hurt and the laser machine we use feels just like having a normal eye examination.
About 10 minutes before the treatment, you will have drops to dilate (open up) your pupil and anaesthetic eye drops put into your eye to gently numb the surface of the eye. These drops may sting a little and you may not be able to see properly for a while – things may be a bit blurred or distorted.
You will be asked to sit in a chair and your clinician will put a small contact lens on your numb eye. You will then be asked to rest your chin on the frame of the laser machine to help keep your eye still. Your surgeon will carefully direct a laser beam into your eye. You will see a bright light and hear some clicking noises. The beam will make a hole in the clouded capsule behind the lens so that light will be able to pass through this to the back of the eye.
The procedure usually takes five to ten minutes and is not painful.
Will I be able to see clearer straight way ?
After the laser treatment, the eye will be temporarily ‘blind’ or ‘dazzled’ caused by the bright light emitted from the laser machine. Your vision will gradually begin to return, usually in a series of colours, over a period of 5-10 minutes but will remain blurred for 4-6 hours until the dilating drops wear off, if they were used.
Can I drive following this treatment ?
No. This is because you have had dilating drops your vision will be a little blurred for up to 6 hours after the treatment. It is therefore advisable not to drive and to make alternative arrangements.
Is there any aftercare I need to be aware of after Yag Capsulotomy ?
There are no physical restrictions following treatment. You may need anti-inflammatory eyedrops in your eye following treatment. This will be fully explained to you by the clinician if the need should arise. You may be given a prescription to take to your local Chemist to obtain anti-inflammatory eye drops, to be used for 1-2 weeks, if the clinician feels they are necessary.
If you wish to see your Optician for an up-to-date refraction (eye test) after having YAG capsulotomy laser treatment, you should wait for 2 weeks before doing so. This will give your eye time to settle fully.