YAG Laser Procedure

What is a YAG Capsulotomy?

A YAG capsulotomy is a laser treatment to improve your vision after developing a posterior capsular opacity (PCO). Developing a PCO is a common occurrence following cataract surgery. The YAG Laser capsulotomy is a simple, commonly performed procedure that is very safe.

What Happens During a YAG Laser Capsulotomy?

During YAG Laser Capsulotomy, the eye is dilated, giving the doctor a view of the protein buildup behind the implanted lens. The YAG laser clears protein film to restore vision.

During cataract surgery, a new artificial lens was placed inside the lens capsule within your eye. In many patients, the capsule thickens after surgery and becomes cloudy. This interferes with the light's ability to reach the back of the eye.

The doctor applies a laser beam to the capsule in a YAG laser procedure. This creates a small hole in the capsule's center, letting light through, and restoring clear vision.

Why is YAG Laser Treatment needed after cataract surgery?

After cataract surgery, there is a 50/50 chance that a protein film will form across the posterior capsule. This protein material is generated from microscopic cells that cling to the anterior capsule and the equator of the natural lens, which became a cataract. It is almost impossible to vacuum every remaining cell at the time of surgery. The cells left behind will continue to produce protein. This is called capsule clouding.

Is YAG Laser Capsulotomy an invasive procedure?

No. This procedure only takes 1-2 minutes of treatment for your eye. There is no pain involved since nothing will touch your eye. You will sit behind the YAG laser (which looks like a microscope) and look where the doctor tells you. On average, about 50 pulses from the laser will be used to treat your eye. Once the procedure is complete, it should not have to be repeated again in the future.

What if I blink during a YAG Laser Capsulotomy?

It's okay to blink during the procedure. The laser has a focused beam of light that only affects the tissue that it is focused on, with no harm to your lids or other eye structures. No lid-holding device is required.

What does YAG stand for?

YAG stands for Yttrium, Aluminum, and Garnet crystals used to generate the laser.

Do I have to follow any restrictions after YAG Laser Treatment?

No. You may go about your daily routine, take your medication(s) as directed, and you can eat your regular meal(s) before your procedure. There are no eye drops you need to take, but if you take eye drops for other reasons, you may continue to do so. You will notice that your vision may be blurry for a few hours due to your eye being dilated, and you may notice new floaters in your field of vision (this will eventually decrease over a period of time). These floaters never actually go away, but they do gradually settle down by gravity over a few months.