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YAG laser treatment

​YAG laser treatment is used to correct posterior capsule opacification (PCO) which appears in around 20% of cases after surgery to remove a cataract.

I have a question about YAG laser treatment for posterior capsule opacification

What is YAG Laser treatment?

YAG laser treatment (also known as laser capsulotomy) removes posterior capsule opacification using a procedure known as laser capsulotomy. The benefit of laser capsulotomy treatment is that vision will be restored to what it was after the initial cataract surgery.

What is posterior capsule opacification?

Cataracts can be successfully treated with surgery, which replaces your cloudy lens with a clear, artificial one. In a small number of cases, part of the capsule left within the eye to support the new lens after the operation can become cloudy. This is called posterior capsule opacification.

What causes posterior capsule opacification?

Your eye is shaped like a ball, with clear tissue at the front called the cornea. Light entering your eye through the cornea is focused by the lens onto the retina. The cornea does most of the work, while the lens ‘fine-tunes’ the focus.

The shape of your lens constantly changes to help you see things clearly in the distance and close up; this is called ‘accommodation of vision’. As you get older, your lens becomes less able to change its shape to focus properly. When this happens, most people can see clearly in the distance, but they aren’t as good at seeing things close up.

The lens of your eye can be affected by a cataract. When a cataract develops, it changes the way these cells are arranged, causing the lens to become cloudy instead of clear. This results in less light passing through the lens and a reduction in the quality of your vision.

If you’ve had surgery for cataracts or laser treatment, then some of the remaining tissue can itself become cloudy and require treatment. It’s not known why this occurs, or why it affects some people but not others.

What are the symptoms of posterior capsule opacification?

Posterior capsule opacification will only occur after you’ve had cataract eye surgery, and then only in a relatively small number of cases. Symptoms are similar to initial cataracts, with your vision becoming increasingly blurry over time.

How is posterior capsule opacification diagnosed and do I need cataract treatment?

Your GP or Optometrist (Optician) should be able to diagnose posterior capsule opacification after discussing your symptoms and a short examination. You may be referred for YAG laser treatment.

Visit our pricing page or contact us for more information on cataract operation costs.

What happens during YAG Laser treatment?

The YAG laser uses a highly concentrated beam of light to make a hole in the centre of the membrane, so restoring the vision to how it was following the initial cataract surgery.

The operation is usually carried out as day surgery so you’ll be able to return home on the day of the operation, although you won’t be able to drive yourself.

Drops will be put in your eye to enlarge the pupil and numb the eye to prevent any discomfort. When these have taken effect, you’ll be seated at a microscope, similar to the type the doctor uses to check your eyes.

During the procedure you can blink as normal with your other eye. You may see bright flashes of light and you’ll hear clicking noises while the laser is being used, but you won’t experience any pain.

The YAG laser treatment will take around five minutes.

What should I expect after YAG Laser treatment?

Immediately following YAG laser treatment you may feel dazzled for a few hours while the drops to dilate your pupils wear off. This can blur your vision so you won’t be able to drive for the rest of the day.

We’ll discuss your aftercare and any follow-up appointments with you before you leave hospital. You may be given some eye-drops to take.

For up to eight weeks after treatment you may notice small black specks (floaters) in the vision of the treated eye; these should gradually decrease and disappear over this period.

Our Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeons

Mr Devereux

Joseph Devereux

Consultant Ophthalmic and Oculoplastic Surgeon

Mr Devereux's specialities include small incision cataract surgery, premium lenses and blepharoplasty.

Mr Kwok

Thomas Kwok

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

Mr Kwok's specialties include medical retina, intravitreal injection treatments, laser treatments and cataract surgery.

Mr Lake

Damian Lake

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

Mr Lake's specialties include corneal transplantation, cataract surgery, and refractive surgery.

Ms Lesnik-Oberstein

Sarit Lesnik-Oberstein

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

Ms Lesnik-Oberstein's specialties include cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and vitroretinal surgery.

Mr Poon

Wallace Poon

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

Mr Poon's specialties include cataract surgery, vitreoretinal procedures, retinal detachment and eye trauma.

Mr Borg

Godfrey Borg

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

Mr Borg's specialties include small incision cataract surgery, retina conditions, intravitreal injections, ectropion Botox®, laser treatment and squints.

Ms Luo

Yvonne Luo

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

Mrs Luo's specialties include cataract surgery, retinal detachment, eye trauma and medical retinal conditions.

Ms Hawkes

Elizabeth Hawkes

Consultant Ophthalmic and Oculoplastic Surgeon

Ms Hawkes' specialties include general ophthalmology, cataract surgery, oculoplastic surgery and blepharoplasty.

Mr Aboshiha

Jonathan Aboshiha

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

Dr Aboshiha's specialties include cataract surgery, corneal disease and laser treatments.

Consultant Ophthalmologist, Mr Syed Shahid

Syed Shahid

Consultant Ophthalmologist

Mr Shahid's specialties include General Ophthalmology, Retinal disease, Complex and routine cataract surgery

Mr Ong

Beng Ong

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

Mr Ong's specialities include cataract surgery, retinal disease and laser treatments.

Miss Han Bin Lee, Consultant Ophthalmologist at Benenden Hospital

Han Bin Lee

Consultant Ophthalmologist

Miss Han Bin Lee's specialities include cataract surgery and YAG laser capsulotomy at Benenden Hospital

Contact us about treatment for posterior capsule opacification

It's easy to find out more about treatment by giving us a call or completing our enquiry form.