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YAG Laser Capsulotomy 

What is a YAG Capsulotomy?

YAG capsulotomy is an in-office laser procedure done to correct the most common complication of cataract surgery.  After cataract surgery, a film can develop behind where the new lens is placed in the eye.  This film can cause symptoms such as progressively blurred vision, glare and halos with lights, and overall decreased activities of daily living.  Occasionally, this film can be so thick that an eye doctor cannot see the retina behind the film.  

Who needs YAG Capsulotomy?

If you have noticed a decrease in vision since cataract surgery, or an increase in other symptoms you should schedule an appointment to be evaluated. Your symptoms may be due to posterior capsular opacification (or the new film that can develop after cataract surgery).  

What are the benefits?

The benefits of YAG capsulotomy include improved vision, decreased glare and halos,  and and improved view to the retina for your eye doctors. 

What are the risks?

The risks of a YAG capsulotomy are very minimal.  The most common symptom patients will notice is they may have an increase in floaters for a few days following the procedure.  In the medical literature, there have been reports of retinal detachments following YAG laser treatments, as well as increased inflammation and pressure necessitating the use of eye drops for a short period of time as well as damage to the lens that was placed in the eye at the time of cataract surgery.  

What can I expect if I have the YAG capsulotomy?

The procedure is done in the office, one eye at a time if both are being treated.  The eye receiving treatment will be dilated.  You will sit in a normal exam chair and the experience will feel like your eye is being examined.  All the patient will see is a bright light and they will hear some clicks from the machine.  There is no pain associated with the laser procedure.  

You are able to go home shortly after the laser is completed.  There are no restrictions and there are no eye drops to use. 

Other things to know:

This procedure will not change your vision.  The goal is the lower the eye pressure, not to make your vision better.

This procedure does not cure glaucoma, but is a tool to help keep the eye pressure in a safe range to limit the damage caused by glaucoma. 

There are no limitations or  restrictions following a SLT procedure and you may take Tylenol for any discomfort. 

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