YAG Posterior Capsulotomy

Why do I need YAG Laser Capsulotomy?

Quite often, directly after, or even months or years following cataract surgery, the posterior capsule of the lens (which is not removed during cataract surgery and that originally held the natural lens, and holds the intraocular lens implant) can itself become cloudy.

An Nd-YAG Laser is used to make a hole in this capsule, thus allowing light to pass freely again to the retina and, therefore, improving vision.

Getting ready for a laser treatment session:

  • Eat your meals as usual
  • It is suggested that someone accompany you
  • Take your eye drops and all medications as usual
  • Register at the reception desk on arrival
  • You will be asked to sign a consent form
  • You will be at the surgery for at least one hour
  • Your eyes will be very sensitive to light when the pupils are dilated, so wearing sunglasses is recommended. This is very important on bright sunny days.

What happens during laser treatment?

  • Your pupils will be dilated to give Dr Hornsby a good view
  • You will be seated at a microscope, similar to the one used during your consultation, as the laser beam is controlled through the microscope
  • During the treatment, you should try to keep your teeth together and your head pushed forward against the band
  • Local anaesthetic (drops) will be placed in your eye. This is to prevent discomfort from the special contact lens placed on your eye to hold your lids apart. This lens also magnifies the area being treated
  • During treatment, you will see bright flashes of light. Laser treatment is usually painless, although sometimes a patient may have slight discomfort
  • The treatment will take between 5 – 15 minutes, depending on the amount of treatment needed

After the laser treatment:

  • Your vision will be blurred immediately after your treatment
  • The dilation drops will also cause blurred vision. This will clear in 3 – 4 hours
  • Continue your usual eye drops and medications
  • Dr Hornsby will instruct you about any activities that you should limit
  • You will also be given your next appointment
  • It is recommended that you do not drive on the day of your laser treatment
  • Please ask Dr Hornsby for advice

Report sudden loss of vision or severe pain to Dr Hornsby immediately.
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Suite 15, Mater Medical Centre
76 Willetts Road
Mackay QLD 4740


(07) 4942 3301


(07) 4942 9815
Fig 1. Illustration of YAG Laser Capsulotomy.
Image - YAG Laser Capsulotomy
Fig 2. Illustration of laser surgery.
Image - Posterior Capsular Opacification


The information provided here is for general education only and should not be construed as individual medical advice. For advice relevant to your particular situation, please speak to Dr Hornsby.