Vision Scotland : Everything you need to know

YAG laser capsulotomy

Laser is highly effective for the treatment of several eye conditions. It can be used to treat certain types of glaucoma and can also be used to treat posterior capsule opacification (PCO), a condition a small proportion of people experience after lens surgery.

YAG Laser for PCO

The procedure is carried out with you sitting at an instrument that looks very similar to a Slit Lamp (the main investigation instrument used by optometrists and ophthalmologists). You will have drops in your eyes to dilate your pupil. It is quick and pain free, although some discomfort may be briefly felt when the laser is used. You will see a red light and some flashes and hear what sounds like sparks. The treatment will take less than 10 minutes. Afterwards you are likely to see some floaters which will take a few days to reduce/settle. Your eye may feel mildly uncomfortable for two to three days.

If you have PCO in both eyes you can have both treated on the same day, one immediately after the other. As your pupils will be dilated it is not recommended to drive after this treatment unless you are happy to wait until the eye drops wear off.

Laser Peripheral Iridotomy

YAG Laser Peripheral Iridotomy is used as a preventative treatment for Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma. The technique uses a YAG Laser to create a small drainage hole in the peripheral iris, allowing the aqueous humour to flow through. This then pushes the iris backwards allowing free drainage.
lady happy after RLE surgery in scotland

Vision Scotland : Eye care specialists

What to expect

Yag capsulotomy is a special laser used to improve your vision after cataract surgery. It is only required when a patient suffers posterior capsule opacification. This occurs in approximately one in five cases.

What happens in your consultation

If you require YAG laser, you will only require a 30 minute appointment with one of our highly qualified Optometrists. They will examine your eye prior to treatment to confirm that you need YAG laser treatment.

YAG laser treatment can be carried out straight away as an outpatient procedure.

Procedure information

The procedure is quick, simple and most importantly, it is very safe. There are no special preparations such as fasting or self isolation required. During the procedure, you will have drops put into your eyes to dilate the pupil.

You will also be given anaesthetic drops to numb the surface of the eye. The Optometrist will take you through to the laser room where you will sit in front of a machine. The Optometrist uses a special lens to apply a laser beam to the back of the capsule in the eye. The special lens allows the surgeon to see the membrane where the opacification has occurred. The laser creates a small hole in the capsule which lets light through and corrects the cloudy vision.

The whole treatment is painless and is usually completed within 15 minutes. The Optometrist will re-examine your eye after the procedure is complete to make sure the it was completely successful. All being well, you will then be able to go home.

Aftercare information

YAG laser treatment results in immediate restoration of sight for the patient. Once the eye drops have worn off you should be ok to go home.

We recommend you shouldn’t drive your self home and have someone there to bring you home.

No follow up appointment is required unless you have concerns for your sight.

Complications after YAG treatment are rare.

Occasionally, the pressure in the eye rises after YAG laser treatment. If this does happen, you will be treated with eye drops before returning home. Your time in hospital may be slightly longer if this occurs while your Optometrist waits for the pressure to return to normal.

Your Optometrist may also arrange a face to face follow up appointment or phone call to check on your progress in the days following treatment. Another rare complication, is that the hole made by the laser is not large enough to relieve symptoms. If this occurs you will need to return to the hospital for further treatment with YAG laser. This is no additional charge if this happens.

Make an appointment to discuss YAG laser surgery today.