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YAG Laser Capsulotomy

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Learn more about YAG laser capsulotomy at King Edward VII’s Hospital

Why would I need a YAG laser capsulotomy procedure?

Cataracts cause the lens of the eye to become cloudy, affecting the vision. Surgery to correct cataracts replaces the cloudy lens with an artificial one, which is placed within the part of the eye called the lens membrane, or capsule. In some patients, the capsule thickens and becomes cloudy, itself affecting the vision.

A YAG laser capsulotomy procedure is used to correct this thickening of the capsule, using a laser to create a small hole in the lens membrane to allow light through to help improve the vision.

What symptoms does a YAG laser capsulotomy procedure address?

A YAG laser capsulotomy procedure aims to reduce the clouded vision caused by a thickening of the lens membrane following surgery to remove cataracts.

When should you speak to your specialist about a YAG laser capsulotomy procedure?

If you’ve previously had surgery to remove cataracts and you’re experiencing a change in your vision, including cloudiness, mistiness or glare in bright lights or at night time, speak to your GP, optician or ophthalmologist about being referred for a YAG laser capsulotomy procedure.

How is a YAG laser capsulotomy procedure performed?

Prior to your YAG laser capsulotomy procedure, you will have your vision checked before having drops added to your eyes to dilate -increase the size of your pupils, and numb your eye.

You will be asked to sit at a machine that looks very similar to one used during routine eye tests. A gel will then be applied to your eyes in order to place a special contact lens over the eye. Your consultant will then use a laser to treat your eye and you will notice some bright flashes of light. Most patients don’t experience any pain, but some may experience some mild discomfort.

A YAG laser capsulotomy procedure takes a few minutes, but your whole appointment may be a few hours. Most patients are able to return home the same day.

What is the recovery like for YAG laser capsulotomy procedure?

Your recovery from a YAG laser capsulotomy procedure will depend on multiple factors, including your age, fitness level and general health.

Shortly after your procedure, your doctor or technician will check your vision, it’s normal to experience blurred vision for a few hours. Some patients also experience redness and soreness, which can be relieved by taking paracetamol. In a few cases you may notice mild inflammation in your eyes following a YAG laser capsulotomy procedure and if needed you will be recommended drops for this by your consultant.

You will be advised not to drive home after your procedure, and when you’re at home, you will be able to carry out your duties as normal. Your medical team will arrange a follow up appointment within a few weeks.

Are there any risks/complications associated with a YAG laser capsulotomy procedure?

As with any medical procedure, it’s possible for risks or complications to arise. Speaking with your specialist or surgeon beforehand will help you prevent complications.

A YAG laser capsulotomy procedure has a relatively low risk of serious complications, but the following risks and complications can occur in a small number of cases:

● Discomfort
● Discomfort in bright light
● Blurred vision
● An increase in the pressure in your eye
● Floaters in your field of vision
● Damage to the replacement lens
● Detached retina

How can I prepare for a YAG laser capsulotomy procedure?

Prior to a YAG laser capsulotomy procedure, your surgeon will discuss with you how best to prepare, as each patient is different with differing needs.

Common preparations for a YAG laser capsulotomy procedure include:

● Routine blood tests and scans of the back or the front of the eye x rays as requested by your surgeon
● Taking steps to stop smoking if you smoke
● Losing weight if you’re overweight
● Remaining active and doing regular exercise

Are there alternatives for a YAG laser capsulotomy procedure?

There is no surgical alternative to a YAG laser capsulotomy procedure. Your vision may or may not become cloudier or mistier, and if it does, you may choose to have a YAG laser capsulotomy procedure at a later

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