Sometimes after having cataract surgery, a patient will experience blurred or double vision. This can occur because of a condition known as posterior capsule opacity (PCO). When PCO is present, a haze develops in the eye’s natural membrane behind the artificial intraocular implant. If the haze is affecting your vision, you may need a one-time laser procedure which uses an yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG) laser.
In about 20 percent of patients who have cataract surgery, the haziness associated with PCO can occur during surgery recovery or at any time later, even months afterwards. There’s no way of knowing who will develop PCO, however statistically there is some evidence that younger patients have a higher risk of PCO following cataract surgery.
During cataract surgery itself, your surgeon works to remove the cataract and replace it with an intraocular lens. The thin membrane surrounding your natural lens is left as intact as possible so the intraocular lens can be implanted within it. The goal is to improve your vision while maintaining the integrity of your eye’s lens capsule. PCO can occur despite surgeons’ best efforts because lens epithelial cells grow on the lens capsule, creating haziness.
What’s Involved with Using a YAG Laser After Cataract Surgery
When you have YAG laser surgery, the affected eye will probably be dilated. Your ophthalmologist will then use the laser, which never touches the surface of your eye, to create a central opening in the cloudy area of your eye. Light rays will be able to pass through the opening created by the laser, improving your vision.
The procedure itself is painless and should last just minutes. Afterwards, you may experience some eye floaters for up to a few weeks, but they should disappear on their own. Your ophthalmologist may prescribe anti-inflammatory eye drops for you.
There is no down time after a YAG laser procedure, so you should be able to resume your normal activities right away. If you’re like most people who have the YAG laser procedure, your vision will be improved within one day. YAG laser procedures are generally very safe. As with any type of surgical procedure involving the eyes, there are some risks associated with having YAG laser surgery performed. Your ophthalmologist should explain these risks and answer your questions before you make a decision.
Contact Us to Learn More About the Use of a YAG Laser After Cataract Surgery
Whether you’re considering cataract surgery or a related procedure, or just need general ophthalmology services, it’s important to feel comfortable with, and confident in, the professionals who are treating you. At New Vision Eye Center in Vero Beach, FL, our board certified eye doctors and our certified clinic technicians are experienced and dedicated to providing professional, skilled and friendly service to every patient, every time.
Contact our world-class eye care office today by calling 772-257-8700, or by completing our easy online inquiry form.