After Cataract Or Posterior Capsule Opacification
During cataract surgery, the cloudy lens inside the eye is removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens implant. The cataract is surrounded by a clear Saran Wrap-like material. During cataract surgery, the front of this material is removed and the intraocular lens implant is placed. The back cellophane wrapping (known as the posterior capsule) remains intact. In some people, months or even years after cataract surgery, this clear Saran Wrap-like material becomes cloudy. Subsequently, laser treatment is done to restore vision.
When patients have an after cataract, they will experience symptoms similar to those when their cataract was forming…glare, blurry vision, an inability to see well in dim and bright light settings.
Treatment involves a brief two minute office procedure in which a YAG laser is used to create an opening in the clouded membrane. The procedure is completely painless as there are no nerve endings in the capsule that is treated with the laser. The eye is numbed with a topical anesthetic drop , a small contact lens is placed on the eye and the laser pulses clear the opacification . An anti-inflammatory eye drop is used after the procedure and ALL activity immediately can be resumed . There are no physical restrictions in place after the procedure Most patients notice an improvement in vision within a day or two. Once the procedure is done, the capsule will not re-opacify (cloud again).
Left photo shows the rough opacified layer (after cataract) in back of the lens implant. Right photo shows the opening in the opacified layer (posterior capsulotomy) in back of the lens implant
Cataracts: YAG Laser Capsulotomy