During cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens. This lens sits in a bag called the capsule which is part of the normal eye. In about 25% of people, this bag thickens leading to a “film” over the clear lens and leads to reduced vision. This can be corrected easily and safely with a special machine known as a YAG laser. The laser is used to cut a hole in the centre of the capsule thus enabling clear vision again.
This procedure is performed in the clinic.
- A special contact lens may be applied to use with the laser, in which case the eye is numbed with anaesthetic drops.
- The laser is then used to cut the capsule. The procedure is painless and usually only takes a few minutes. You will notice small flashes of light during the procedure.
- The risks of this procedure are very low but not zero. It is possible to mark the intraocular lens with the laser, but that does not affect the vision. In very rare instances, the lens can shift out of position or vitreous gel can come through to the front of the eye requiring further procedures.
After the procedure, you may notice some floaters which usually settle after a few days. You may be given anti-inflammatory drops to use for a week.
Follow up may be offered with your doctor or optometrist to ensure that your vision has improved and all is well.