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What is YAG laser capsulotomy?

YAG laser capsulotomy diagram
YAG laser capsulotomy

A YAG laser capsulotomy is a procedure that uses a laser to create a small opening in the capsule that surrounds the natural lens of the eye, called the posterior capsule. This procedure is typically done in individuals who have had cataract surgery and have developed a condition called posterior capsule opacification (PCO).


During cataract surgery, the natural lens of the eye is removed and replaced with an artificial lens. The capsule that surrounds the natural lens is left in place to hold the new lens in place. Over time, however, this capsule can become cloudy, which is known as posterior capsule opacification (PCO). This cloudiness can cause a decrease in vision and glare, halos, and difficulty seeing at night.


A YAG laser capsulotomy is a quick, non-invasive outpatient procedure that uses a laser to create a small opening in the cloudy capsule, allowing light to pass through to the retina. This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, usually under local anesthesia. The laser is directed through the pupil, and a series of quick pulses is used to create a small opening in the capsule. The procedure typically takes about 5-10 minutes.


After the procedure, the patient's vision may be blurry for a short period of time, and there may be some mild discomfort or irritation. These symptoms usually resolve within a day or two.


YAG laser capsulotomy is a highly effective procedure, with a high success rate in restoring vision. It is considered to be a safe procedure with minimal risk of complications. The procedure is also relatively quick and painless, and recovery time is relatively short.


Key points:

  • YAG laser capsulotomy is a procedure that uses a laser to create a small opening in the capsule that surrounds the natural lens of the eye, called the posterior capsule

  • This procedure is typically done in individuals who have had cataract surgery and have developed a condition called posterior capsule opacification (PCO)

  • It's a quick, non-invasive outpatient procedure that uses a laser to create a small opening in the cloudy capsule, allowing light to pass through to the retina

  • It is considered to be a safe procedure with minimal risk of complications and recovery time is relatively short

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