One of the most common complications after cataract surgery is a posterior capsule opacity (also called posterior capsule opacification or PCO). During cataract surgery, the cloudy natural lens is removed and a new clear lens is put in place. The natural lens sits in a bag called the capsule and the new lens is placed in this same capsule during surgery. In about 20% of patients, this capsule can become cloudy due to migration of epithelial cells that are left over from the natural lens. A cloudy capsule can cause decreased vision and glare.
WHAT TO EXPECT THE DAY OF THE PROCEDURE
- The affected eye is dilated
- The patient sits in an exam chair behind a microscope where the YAG laser is attached. A gel is placed on the eye in order to focus the laser.
- The surgeon applies the laser to the capsule and removes the cloudy area. The patient will hear clicks as the laser is activated.
- The patient will not experience any pain or discomfort during or after the procedure.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER THE PROCEDURE
- The patient may resume normal activities immediately following the procedure.
- Most people experience an improvement in their vision within a day.
- There may be an increase in floaters, but these resolve within a few weeks. As always, call us right away if you notice a shower of floaters, flashing lights or a curtain over your vision as these could be signs of a retinal issue.