What is YAG laser Capsulotomy?

YAG Capsulotomy or Yttrium Aluminum Garnet Capsulotomy is a non-invasive laser procedure used to treat PCO or Posterior capsular opacification post-cataract surgery. Posterior capsular opacification is a common occurrence in post-cataract patients, with the duration of its occurrence varying from person to person. On average, PCO can occur between 3months- 5 years post-cataract surgery. Laser treatment after cataract surgery is usually required when vision loss starts impacting your day-to-day life due to opacification. Yag laser eye surgery is performed under topical anesthesia by an ophthalmologist and is a relatively short procedure that gets over in 15-20 minutes.

Why do you need YAG laser treatment after cataract surgery?

The lens of our eye is enclosed inside a capsular membrane at the fetal stage. When the lens starts getting opacified with age or other conditions leading to cataracts, the ophthalmologist either removes the lens by tearing the lens capsule or, in some complicated cases, leaves the capsule intact instead of tearing it. In either of these cases, the capsular membrane comes in contact with the intraocular lens.

The epithelial cells of the membrane proliferate and develop new cells over the IntraOcular Lens. An increase in the number of these cells leads to a frosty appearance of the back surface of the lens, which interferes with the vision, and laser treatment after cataract surgery becomes inevitable. In this regard, Yag laser eye surgery is often recommended by doctors. It is also supposed by clinicians that the build-up of the cells causes wrinkling of the capsule. This results in further loss of vision, thus necessitating a Yap laser eye surgery. However, whether you need laser treatment after cataract surgery or not can only be ascertained after some preliminary round of tests by your doctor.

Indicative symptoms for Yag laser eye surgery

Prior to YAG laser eye surgery, posterior capsular opacification may present as blurred vision, halos around light, double vision, problematic night vision, etc. Doctors may also advise you for a YAG procedure if your quality of life is not improving with glasses because of the effect of opacification. Sometimes, blurred vision causes more problems when the operated eye is the only good eye of the patient. Therefore, timely removal of opacification becomes more important to preserve the vision of the functioning eye. If you are facing any of these symptoms, it’s time to consult a good clinic in London to start the treatment immediately. 

After the YAG procedure, you may experience symptoms of floaters, i.e., black or sometimes transparent spots floating in front of the eye due to the effect of vitreous humor liquefaction. Additionally, there might be a bit of corneal haze due to the effect of the laser, but these are mostly nonserious symptoms and slowly reverse with time.

An ideal candidate for Yag laser eye surgery

To become eligible for YAG laser eye surgery:

  1. Must have had your cataracts removed and replaced with an Intraocular Lens
  2. Must not have amblyopia or lazy eye in the eye to be lasered (because then YAG procedure won’t help much in improving the vision)
  3. Must have a healthy retina and, in case of systemic conditions like diabetes or hypertension, be in the initial stages of diabetic retinopathy and hypertensive retinopathy
  4. Need to have a clear cornea and a healthy anterior segment as corneal scars (Else infections will delay the treatment or produce unsatisfactory results after YAG procedure is over)
  5. Must be willing to follow the pre-operative and post-operative advice of the ophthalmologist along with having an overall idea about his visual outcome post YAG procedure

If you want to know your eligibility for YAG laser eye surgery, consult one of the experts from AI Vision, London, today.

Preparing for your Yag laser eye surgery

The preparation for the Yag laser eye surgery starts with a visual examination. The surgeon will initially take a history assessment of your condition. He might ask you questions about the duration of your surgery, medical details about the type of IOL placed in your eye, the visual problems (if any), systemic conditions, and the complications attached to them. These questions will help him ascertain whether you need laser treatment after cataract surgery or not. It is important during this time to confide in the surgeon about your allergic conditions, drug sensitivity issues, and any history of medical issues that may be pertinent to your eye condition before you sign up for the YAG procedure in London.

This is followed by a visual examination of both your eyes and an assessment of your power using an auto refractometer. Usually, this procedure is irrelevant because the PCO makes it different for the auto refractometer to show you an accurate reading. But for documentation, it is important to have a comparison analysis post-laser. The visual acuity or the visual assessment of both the eyes is done with glasses and without glasses. Irrespective of the clinic you choose in London, a thorough slit lamp examination of the anterior segment of the eye first on its own and then after dilatation of the eye is a part of the pre YAG laser eye surgery; the reason being to assess any ocular anterior segment anomalies like scarring in cornea, tilting of the IOL or any allergic reactions that need prior treatment before proceeding towards the YAG Capsulotomy.

Post dilatation, the position of the IOL is assessed thoroughly in the slit lamp examination, along with the extent of opacification. This is important for the YAG procedure as it helps the surgeon in deciding the number of laser pulses required for the PCO. A retina evaluation helps determine the condition of the retina and whether or not there is any situation of previous damage or current reaction in it. In either case, it helps decide the outcome of the YAG procedure.

Diagnostics Procedures

Usually, your cataract surgery documents are enough to give the surgeon an idea about your A.scan and other pertinent diagnostic evaluations. But sometimes, when the PCO is exceptionally dense, making it difficult to assess the retina behind it, it becomes important to perform a B.Scan to have an overall idea about your posterior segment before proceeding forward for laser treatment after cataract surgery. Previous OCT reports are referred to in patients with a history of the thin cornea, or a new OCT is advised for checking the corneal condition prior to the laser as the beams are directed through the cornea inside the eye.

Yag procedure

Irrespective of the clinic you go for in London, the YAG procedure starts with topical anesthetics being instilled in the eye. You will sit on a special laser machine followed by an adjustment of your head along with the headrest and chinrest of the machine. This may sound like a trivial matter, but proper positioning will enable the optimum application of the laser pulses during the procedure. YAG laser is an outpatient procedure that requires almost no prepping except for the drops instillation and hands sterilization before the treatment. The laser itself takes no more than 20 minutes, during which the beams will be applied in localized areas in the center of the IOL. After completion of the laser, antibiotics will be instilled in your eyes. Your intraocular pressure and vision will be recorded as per the treatment protocol in the in-patient area. Most patients feel skeptical about laser treatment after cataract surgery, but it is imperative to talk to an experienced doctor in London to understand how painless the process is.

How does YAG Laser Capsulotomy Works?

In this type of Yag Capsulotomy, multiple pulses of laser beams are focused on the ocular tissues formed on the intraocular lens because of the shrinkage of the lens capsule over its surface. Yag laser or Yttrium laser is a solid-state laser that uses a wavelength of 1064nm of light in multiple short pulses to achieve its effect. The laser application results in optical breakdown over the IOL surface, leading to an ionization effect or plasma formation over the tissues. Multiple laser beams applied on the central areas cause shock waves or acoustic waves across the surface of the lens that disrupts the tissue.

Directing the laser beams in a synchronized manner over the area of the IOL affected by tissue fibrosis gradually leads to the complete elimination of the tissue. The end result is a crystal clear IOL and regained vision of the patient. However, given the complex nature of the procedure, it is imperative to have an expert doctor who has wide years of experience in performing laser treatment after cataract surgery with ease. In this regard, AI Vision, London, would be your ideal bet.

Yag capsulotomy Post-treatment care

After you go through Yag laser capsulotomy, discomfort and inflammation will be induced by the laser beams. These symptoms are temporary and will gradually wear off, but antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drops at regular intervals will help ease the pain to a great extent. There will be a bit of discomfort on exposure to sun or bright light post-laser. Wearing protective gear on stepping out of the house and avoiding driving, especially at night time, will help you deal with the symptomatic effects.

Yag Laser is a very minimally non-invasive laser in which the recovery is almost immediate. That’s why doctors widely advised you to go for this laser treatment after cataract surgery. There is no downtime required, and you can get back to work the very next day post-treatment. Regular medications will dissipate whatever discomfort there was, and you will notice a significant improvement in vision from the very next day after the laser.

In this regard, AI Vision London offers exceptional post-treatment care. You can also rest assured of hassle-free medical loans and request an approximate Yag laser capsulotomy cost by talking to one of the experts over the phone.

What makes YAG Capsulotomy unique?

Being FDA approved in London, it is the most trusted laser treatment after cataract surgery for treatment of PCO. It is a non-invasive procedure and has improved vision in millions of people worldwide because of its fibrous tissue destruction techniques. The factors that make YAG Capsulotomy unique among other lasers are

  1. YAG laser surgery can effectively clear the posterior capsular opacification to a great extent. No other laser has been introduced yet that is effective for IOL clearance post-cataract surgery other than replacement of the IOL.
  2. The laser technique uses a very small hole in the center of the IOL to allow light to pass through. In that way, it is safe for the lens and does not affect the vitreous humor right behind the IOL, which can further damage the complications.
  3. There is an almost immediate recovery of the vision post the laser. And it is a one-time procedure meaning you need not sit for more than one sitting of the laser to improve your vision.
  4. Though the Yag laser capsulotomy cost may seem a bit in the high range, you will get it covered under insurance in London as it is FDA approved.

Frequent asked questions (FAQs):

YAG Capsulotomy is a laser procedure implemented specifically in cataract-operated eyes with posterior opacification of the lens. The laser in itself lasts no more than 15-20 minutes, after which there is an almost immediate improvement in vision. That’s why YAG surgery is so sought-after amongst patients in London and all over the world.
Post-Yag Capsulotomy, you will experience inflammation with mild discomfort for a day or two. These are minor complications of YAG surgery and will quickly go away on using anti-inflammatory medications. There is virtually no downtime in Yag surgery, and you can rejoin work the very next day, provided you don’t do heavy work and wear protective glasses.
The two most common risks of YAG laser Capsulotomy are increased ocular pressure and unsatisfactory vision even after the laser. Other complications like macular edema, retinal detachment, corneal edema, and displacement of the IOL can also occur after Yag Capsulotomy surgery. But with an experienced surgeon in London and up-to-date Yag surgery machine, these problems are mostly avoided.
YAG Laser Capsulotomy is a pretty effective procedure in itself used to improve vision by treating the opacification on the surface of the IntraOcular Lens. YAG capsulotomy uses almost 50 pulses of laser in one sitting, and there is a risk of repeated lasers damaging the IOL. Because of this, YAG surgery, once done, is usually not repeated. You can talk to one of the doctors in AI Vision London, for more information.

The exact cost of YAG Laser Capsulotomy in London is difficult to ascertain as it depends on various factors like

  1. The experience of the surgeon doing your YAG surgery
  2. The location of the clinic in London with the machinery it uses for the laser
  3. The type of IOL that was fitted in your eye post-cataract surgery
  4. The intensity of your posterior opacification
  5. Additional costs like the medications used post YAG surgery

If you want to get an approximate Yag laser capsulotomy cost for your case, get in touch with the AI Vision, London, today.

There is no downtime required in YAG laser Capsulotomy. While the vision recovers almost immediately and gets better in the next 1-2 days after the YAG capsulotomy surgery, the inflammation goes down in 5-7 days. It is advised not to do heavy work or exert yourself for at least a week post laser. But you can join work the very next day provided there are no serious complications after the treatment. Just strictly follow the routine check-up after the YAG capsulotomy surgery to rest assured by your surgeon.

Post cataract surgery, sometimes in due course of time, while sometimes due to imperfect cataract surgery, the posterior capsule starts getting opaque. This leads to symptoms like blurred vision, imperfect night vision, glare problem with halos around objects, difficulty driving during night time, and sometimes double vision due to differences in vision between both the eyes. This necessitates a YAG laser Capsulotomy for vision recovery and minimizing the side effects of capsule opacification.
YAG capsulotomy almost immediately recovers vision, provided there are no other complications in the eye. Suppose the lasered eye is previously lazy or retinal complications in the eye like edema or diabetic retinopathy or diffuse corneal scarring. In that case, Yag laser cannot help much in improving vision.
Yag laser treatment is used for clearing the posterior capsule opacification on the surface of an Intraocular Lens that occurs after cataract surgery. When opacification starts interfering with day-to-day activities like driving and in general vision, it is recommended to improve the quality of life through vision.