YAG Capsulotomy

Image of eye structure with a needle going through lens and cornea.

What is YAG Capsulotomy?

YAG capsulotomy is a procedure that is used in the treatment of posterior capsular thickening which is a common but long-term complication of cataract surgery.

During cataract surgery, the lens of the eye is removed and replaced with a plastic lens, which rests on a capsule (transparent membrane). In some patients, the capsule can thicken and become opaque, interrupting the entry of light. When this happens, you may experience a gradual reduction in vision. Posterior capsular thickening can happen any time after your cataract operation from a few months to years. YAG capsulotomy is performed to restore your vision to how it was after the cataract operation.

Procedure of YAG Capsulotomy

YAG capsulotomy is performed under local anaesthesia. Your doctor first checks your vision and instils drops to dilate your pupils. Pressure lowering drops may also be administered. To keep the eye open and focus the laser beam, a special contact lens is placed on the eye. Your doctor then uses a laser beam to create a small opening in the clouded capsule, in order to provide a clear path through which light can pass. You will hear beeping noises and experience bright lights during the process. The whole procedure lasts for approximately 5 to 10 minutes.

After YAG capsulotomy, you will be monitored for any increase in eye pressure. Your doctor may prescribe eye drops or tablets to protect the eye against short-term increases in pressure. Contact your doctor if you experience a sudden shower of floaters, flashes of light in the eyes, severe pain or loss of vision after the laser treatment.

Image of eye structure with a needle going through lens and cornea.
Bristol, Newport, Cardiff and Swansea eye hospital

Specialties