Opacification of the Posterior Capsule [PCO] is common after cataract surgery and typically happens in all patients. It is the commonest complication of cataract surgery occurring in up to 50% of patients by 2 to 3 years after the operation. Posterior Capsular Opacification is also known as PCO or Secondary Cataract and the is cured by a YAG laser treatment. This page will review Posterior Capsular Opacification, PCO, Secondary Cataract, YAG laser treatment.
Normal Look – what it should look like:
Posterior Capsular Opacification, PCO, Secondary Cataract, YAG laser treatment:
WHAT IS A POSTERIOR CAPSULOTOMY?
Posterior capsulotomy is a laser treatment, which is often necessary after cataract surgery. It is quick, painless and can rapidly improve one’s vision.
Cataract surgery is performed when the lens of the eye, becomes cloudy. When the clouding of the lens interferes with vision, it is called a cataract.
WHAT DOES THE LENS CAPSULE HAVE TO DO WITH CATARACT SURGERY?
The lens has a cellophane – like outer lining called the capsule. Cataract surgery leaves the back part of the capsule intact after the rest of the lens is removed.
During cataract surgery, Dr. Duplessie dissolves the cataract with a phacoemulsification device and replaces your natural lens with an artificial lens. PCO refers to clouding and thickening of the back (posterior) of the lens capsule which holds your artificial lens in place. This thickening of the capsule causes your vision to become cloudyof the membrane that held the cataract in place. As much as your lens became cloudy and became a cataract; the membrane holding it in place has become cloudy and become PCO.
WHY IS A POSTERIOR CAPSULOTOMY NECESSARY?
The posterior capsule is normally clear at the time of cataract surgery. However, with the passage of time after cataract surgery, this capsule can itself be- come cloudy and interfere with your vision.
Usually, increased glare with bright lights or a gradual decrease in vision are the first signs of posterior capsular haze.
Dr. Duplessie will make an opening in the capsule to restore normal sight. This can be done with laser. Because a laser can be precisely controlled, it is safe and reliable.
Painless treatment with a YAG laser will quickly restore vision if you develop posterior capsular opacification.
YAG laser Treatment for Treating Posterior Capsule Opacity
Fortunately, a YAG laser can treat posterior capsule opacity safely, effectively and painlessly. A YAG laser treatment is performed in Dr. Duplessie’s office.
How a Laser works
The laser passes through the front of the eye without harming it. When the laser reaches the posterior capsule, it makes a tiny opening.
It is not necessary to remove the capsule, but only to make an opening in the center to allow the clear passage of light rays. Although the laser procedure requires close and precise focusing by Dr. Duplessie, for the patient the technique is usually painless and generally works quickly.
While posterior capsulotomy is usually effective, as with any surgical procedure, rare complications such as detachment of the retina or elevated pressure in the eye can occur. These complications are rare, but they can cause loss of vision. Overall, there is greater than a 99% chance of improved vision.
YAG laser capsulotomy
Completely painless and quick:
- The eye to be treated is dilated with dilating eye drops.
- You stare straight ahead and you will hear a clicking sound
- The procedure is painless and lasts just a few seconds
There are no restrictions after a YAG laser, so you can resume normal activity.
You will see floaters which will disappear with time.
Only one YAG laser treatment is typically required.
YAG Laser Treatment Risks
All procedures have risks. A YAG laser is extremely safe. There is a slightly increased risk of retinal detachment. If you notice an increase in floaters, flashing lights or decreased vision, please contact Dr. Duplessie immediately