top of page
Nurse Checking Girl

What is posterior capsulotomy?


What Is YAG Laser Posterior Capsulotomy?

Posterior capsulotomy is laser surgery you might need sometime after cataract surgery.

When you have cataract surgery, your ophthalmologist removes your eye’s cloudy lens. They replace it with a clear, artificial intraocular lens (IOL). The IOL is held in place in the eye’s natural lens capsule, which is a layer of membrane that contains the lens.  Weeks, months or years later, this capsule can become cloudy or wrinkled, causing blurry vision. This is called a posterior capsule opacification (PCO).

With posterior capsulotomy, a YAG laser is used to make an opening in the cloudy capsule. This allows light to pass through again for clear vision.

What Happens During Posterior Capsulotomy?

The procedure is done in your eye specialists office. It only takes about 5 minutes. Here is what will happen:

  • Your eye will be numbed with eye drops.

  • Your ophthalmologist will point a special laser at the back of the lens capsule and make a small opening.  The laser treatment is painless.

  • After the procedure, usually you can do all your normal daily activities.  Your pupil will usually be dilated for the procedure, so it is advisable not to drive after the laser. Your eye specialist will tell you if there are things you should not do right after surgery.

  • You generally do not need any eye-drop medicine after the laser. Your ophthalmologist will let you know if this is necessary.

  • If you have no other eye problems affecting your vision, your sight should improve in about 24 hours.

  • It is common for you to notice a gray curtain moving across your field of vision. You might also see some floaters.  These are caused by bits of the loosen membrane floating in the jelly of the eye.  This symptom should settle within 1-2 days, if not please contact our eye clinic for advice.


What Are the Risks of Posterior Capsulotomy?

As with any surgery, there are possible risks and complications with posterior capsulotomy.  Fortunately the risk of posterior capsulotomy is uncommon.

 Here are some of them:

  • The laser may cause small dimples on the artificial intraocular lens.  These dimples generally do not affect your vision.

  • You may have inflammation develop inside your eye from the laser, and you may need steroid eye drops for a short period of time to treat the inflammation.

  • The pressure in your eye may increase and require short term treatment.

  • Rarely you may have a detached retina (where the tissue lifts from the back of your eye, this requires surgical treatment) or the IOL might move through the posterior capsule opening.

Posterior capsulotomy: Feature
bottom of page