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YAG Laser Capsulotomy

What is a YAG laser capsulotomy?

A YAG laser capsulotomy is a procedure in which an eye surgeon uses a laser to make an opening in the lens capsule after cataract surgery. The capsule is the thin, clear membrane that holds the lens in place. The opening lets light rays pass through. Sometimes, especially after cataract surgery, the capsule becomes cloudy. Your vision becomes blurry. This procedure can improve your vision.

How do I prepare for the procedure?

You may want to arrange for someone to take you home after the surgery. Allow for time to rest at home.

What happens during the procedure?

The procedure can be done in your surgeon's office and takes only a few minutes. First, the surgeon numbs your eye with eyedrops and then puts in another kind of eyedrop to lower your eye pressure. Next, the surgeon may place a special lens over the surface of your eye. Then the laser painlessly creates an opening in the capsule. The laser is so precise that it usually does not affect other parts of your eye.

What happens after the procedure?

You will be able to resume your normal activities soon after this procedure. However, you may want to rest at home for the rest of the day.

What are the risks and benefits of this procedure?

In rare cases, YAG laser capsulotomy causes high pressure in your eye or a retinal tear or detachment. Talk to your eye care specialist about your risks. Normally, YAG laser treatment is safe and successful. In a short time your vision should improve.

Reviewed for medical accuracy by faculty at the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins. Web site:
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Published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2009-10-29
Last reviewed: 2010-09-07
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
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