What is Laser Capsulotomy?
Laser capsulotomy (also known as YAG Laser capsulotomy) is a treatment for cleaning the support of the lens implant that is inserted at the time of cataract surgery.
The lens itself is removed in cataract surgery but the outer capsule remains in the eye and supports the new lens implant that has been put in. The cloudiness or thickening of the capsule, also known as posterior capsule opacification (PCO), can result in reduced vision and glare, much like a return of a cataract.
Laser capsulotomy is a safe and effective way to clear a hole in the membrane of scar tissue, allowing vision to be improved.
What happens on the day of treatment?
The treatment takes place in the out-patient department. Your consultant’s secretary will advise you of the clinic location. You will be asked to attend the clinic in advance of the treatment time. Your consultant will check your vision and put some drops into your eye to dilate (open) the pupil so the membrane of scar tissue can be seen. Your consultant will explain the treatment and take your written consent and answer any questions regarding your treatment. You will also have anaesthetic drops put in to numb the front of the eye
Once seated in front of the laser machine, a special lens will be placed against the front surface of your eye. This is not painful, but it may feel a little strange. During the treatment, you may see some flashes of light and hear clicking noises. The laser treatment takes only minutes and most patients do not feel any discomfort. You may be prescribed drops to use in the treated eye for a few days to reduce any inflammation within the eye.
Are there any risks or side effects of this treatment?
Your vision may be slightly blurred following your laser treatment, this should settle within a few hours. Patients often notice a few floaters after the treatment. These generally settle with time. It is advisable that you do not drive yourself to the hospital, as you will be unable to drive home.
Your eye may feel slightly sore or uncomfortable afterwards and may sometimes become a little red. You may wish to take mild pain relief, for example paracetamol. If you are already taking pain relief for another condition, continue with these, but do not take both.
The treatment carries a small risk of development of retinal detachment. This risk is less than 1% and is a treatable condition. If you notice a sudden shower of floaters or a curtain-like loss of vision, you should contact your consultant’s secretary for guidance.
There is also a tiny risk of a build-up of fluid in the retina after the treatment which may limit the improvement in the vision. However, this can usually be treated successfully to further improve the vision.
The hole made in the capsule is quite small so that the lens implant still has support in the eye. Very rarely the lens can dislocate after the laser treatment and require surgery.
How successful is the laser in improving vision?
The treatment is very successful in opening the membrane of scar tissue. If the scarring is very thick the improvement may be dramatic. If an individual has existing problems with other parts of the eye, such as the retina, there may be only limited improvement after treatment,
How do I make an appointment?
Your Consultant’s secretary will be able to assist you with availability and costs for your chosen consultant. You can find their contact details by clicking on the link below or visiting the Consultants section.
For further information or to book a consultation contact: