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YAG Capsulotomy (YAG Laser Eye Surgery)

Removing cataracts is one of the most common eye surgeries throughout the country. It’s a safe and effective process that provides additional years of clear vision. In about 20 percent of the people who undergo cataract removal, however, complications arise. A simple procedure using a YAG laser usually takes care of the problem in quick order. For YAG laser surgery in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Westchester, rely on the best ophthalmologistsin the country for a YAG capsulotomy. If you feel the least bit concerned about the aftereffects of your cataract surgery, call Vitreous Retina Macula Consultants of New York.

What Is YAG Capsulotomy?

YAG capsulotomy is a type of laser eye surgery that’s used to treat a specific complication of cataract surgery known as posterior capsule opacification (PCO). This problem is caused by scar tissue forming behind a lens implant after cataract surgery. The complication may occur a few weeks after cataract surgery, but also could take years before it appears.

Posterior Capsule Opacification (PCO)
Posterior Capsule Opacification (PCO)

Up to 20 percent of those who’ve had cataract surgery experience PCO within three years of their surgery. The negative results are disconcerting and cause blurry vision and halos or glares around lights. The term YAG laser capsulotomy references the type of laser used, which is the yttrium aluminum garnet laser. The YAG eye procedure may also be used to treat epithelial cell ingrowth, a possible complication of LASIK eye surgery.

For expert eye care provided by internationally known leaders in diagnosing and treating eye conditions, call Vitreous Retina Macular Consultants of New York (VRMNY). You won’t find better laser eye surgery doctors in the New York Metropolitan area.

★★★★★ Exceptional care

I have been seeing Dr. Engelbert at Vitreous Retina Macula Consultants since 2017. Dr. Engelbert and the staff have provided exceptional care at every visit. They are professional, kind, thorough, and thoughtful. When I have needed acute attention, they have taken the time necessary to fully assess and treat my retinas. When I am there for a routine checkup, the visits are timely and efficient. I highly recommend this wonderful team and am grateful to be under their care.


Do I Need YAG Eye Surgery?

When impaired vision from cataracts makes it hard for you to do ordinary daily activities, you may opt to undergo cataract surgery, a common procedure performed regularly throughout the country. Signs that a follow-up YAG eye procedure may be needed are similar to the cataract symptoms and include:

  • Double vision
  • Glare caused by bright lights
  • Inability to pass the vision test required for a driver’s license

Just like cataracts, PCO causes vision loss over time. If you have epithelial cell ingrowth, you may experience light sensitivity, dry eye and a feeling that there’s a foreign body in your eye. If vision loss affects your work, driving or other normal activities, it’s time to have your eyes evaluated by the physicians at VRMNY to prevent blindness and further eye complications. Don’t let cataracts or PCO drastically impact your quality of life.

How Do I Know if I Need YAG Laser Treatment?

Those who are at risk of developing a second cataract often need a YAG capsulotomy. The procedure also is more prevalent among younger people who undergo cataract removal, especially among children with ocular growths, than it is among the 50-plus set. It’s also more commonly required in women versus men.

YAG capsulotomy

Posterior capsule opacification is a common complication following cataract surgery. Indications that you may require the follow-up procedure include if you have:

  • Wrinkling in your eye
  • The formation of fibroids
  • Opaque coloring
  • Reduced vision
  • Increased glare
  • Difficulties focusing
  • Newly developed nearsightedness

Additionally, people with retinal disease or capsular block syndrome may benefit from YAG laser treatment. If inflammation is present after a cataract removal, you may have to wait until the swelling dissipates before you’re eligible for the procedure. Rely on experts in treating complications from cataract surgery to ensure an effective and successful recovery.

What Happens During a YAG Laser Treatment?

YAG laser surgery is a non-invasive outpatient procedure. You normally don’t experience any pain during this procedure. The simple process required in YAG eye surgery includes:

  1. Your VRMNY surgeon puts anesthetic eye drops in the eye being treated.
  2. Eye drops to dilate your pupils also are administered.
  3. Your doctor points the YAG laser at the back of your eye to create an opening in the clouded lining of the lens capsule.

The hole that’s cut by the laser allows light to pass through the membrane so it can reach your retina. Once the procedure is done, you may need to wait for one to two hours before being released. The professional staff at VRMNY monitor the intraocular pressure of your eye to ensure that your vision problems are corrected properly.

What Can I Expect After YAG Capsulotomy?

While you may be able to drive yourself home after this procedure, with any type of eye surgery, it’s a good idea to have someone with you to drive you home. After YAG laser surgery:

  • Your vision may clear right away.
  • If your vision doesn’t clear right away, it should clear within 24 hours.
  • You’ll probably be able to resume normal activities right away. Your doctor lets you know if you’ll have any limitations on your activities and how long they’ll last.
  • You may be prescribed antibiotic eyedrops to use for about a week after surgery to prevent infection.

Your VRMNY eye doctor gives you instructions that are specific to your situation. Carefully follow all the instructions provided by your doctor. This procedure only needs to be done once. YAG laser capsulotomy is a safe laser surgery with a very high success rate. Side effects are rare when an expert ophthalmologist with years of YAG laser experience performs the procedure.

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Where Can I Find the Best Eye Doctors in New York City?

Whenever you have problems with your vision, entrust the care of your eyes to the best eye doctors in town. At VRMNY, a well-trained and compassionate staff provides expert care for a variety of eye conditions including:

VMRNY doctors combine advanced diagnostics with extensive expertise to provide the best possible ophthalmology care. If you’re wondering if you’re a candidate for YAG capsulotomy or any other surgical or in-office procedure, contact VMRNY today to schedule a consultation. With state-of-the-art ophthalmology centers in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Westchester, this practice is the largest retina and ophthalmology practice in the New York Metropolitan area.

Updated on May 18, 2022 by Ophthalmologists & Retina Specialists of Vitreous Retina Macula Consultants of New York

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