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What is a YAG
of a cloudy capsule before and after a YAG capsulotomy.
modern technique of cataract surgery involves removing the cloudy contents of
the eye's natural lens, while leaving the clear outer membrane (called the
capsule) to hold the new intraocular lens in place.
This capsule has cells on it which will, in some cases, continue to produce lens
fibers. These fibers cannot be laid down in an organized manner and will form
little beads or "pearls" on the lens capsule, forming a secondary
membrane. When these pearls accumulate in the pupil, they cause a blurring of
vision similar to that which one experiences with a cataract. This occurs approximately 30-40% of the time and can appear at any time after
surgery, even as much as five or more years later.
the blurred vision produced by this membrane can be quite significant,
fortunately, there is a very easy way of clearing the pupil of this cloudy
capsule. During the procedure, called YAG
Laser Capsulotomy ,
a special laser (Yttrium Aluminum Garnet)
is used There
is absolutely no pain involved in this procedure and patients can resume their
normal activities immediately.
The patient will usually notice an improvement as soon as the pupil, which
is dilated, goes back to its normal size.
- Is completely painless.
- Does not involve any anesthesia.
- Does not require any preoperative tests.
- Does not need an operating room.
- Takes less than 5 minutes.
- Does not have any postoperative restrictions.
There are two
infrequent, but serious complications to consider:
1. People who have a YAG
Laser Capsulotomy have a slightly higher risk of developing a retinal
detachment in the future. The rate is approximately 0.5-1.0%, but can be
considerably higher in people who were significantly nearsighted before their
2. Even more rarely (one out of 400-500 cases), the intraocular lens can
dislocate through the opening in the capsule, requiring surgical repositioning