Why YAG laser treatment may be needed after cataract surgery

A small percentage of patients experience cloudiness or Posterior Capsule Opacity (PCO) - for several months or years after having cataract surgery. PCO can cause as much or more vision loss for patients as they experienced before their cataract surgery and is very common. It occurs when part of the lens covering remains after surgery. Blurred vision can occur immediately after the cataract surgery, months or even years later.

Your eye care professional may recommend YAG laser treatment to correct the problem if vision loss affects your vision and quality of life. Your ophthalmologist will take into account the same criteria as considered to determine if you needed the cataract surgery, to begin with, including double vision: cannot pass a vision test to procure a driver's license; vision between your two eyes is significant; you have another vision-threatening eye disease; bright lights create a glare that inhibits your vision, and your loss of vision is affecting your life on both a professional and personal level.

If your doctor determines that YAG laser treatment will correct the vision loss, the physician will apply a topical anesthetic and from outside the eye use a laser to clear the clouded lens, allowing light to pass through the membrane to the retina and improving your vision. This is a quick and painless outpatient procedure taking only a few minutes to complete, but you will need to stay in the doctor's office for up to two hours post-surgery so the doctor can monitor the pressure in your eye.

You should notice improved vision within a day of the procedure and typically won't experience any further problems as the capsule does not regrow after it has been cleared using the YAG laser. You may experience short-term increased pressure inside your eye, which can be treated with eye drops that lower eye pressure. Complications are rare but may include vitreous floaters, retinal swelling, lens damage, and, even less frequently, retinal detachment.

The removal of cataracts can improve your vision and your overall lifestyle; however, you may experience complications such as PCO, which can be easily treated using the YAG laser. Contact us online at New Vision Eye Center or call 772-257-8700 for more information or to schedule a consultation with our World-Class Eye CareSM team.