Cataract surgery has become routine these days, with the majority of patients experiencing excellent results. There are even new procedures that can allow you to go glasses-free after cataract surgery, and more innovations continue to be developed.
In some patients, though, blurry or cloudy vision remains after cataract surgery. This isn’t the result of needing additional vision correction, nor is it due to the return of the cataract. Rather, it’s caused by a growth of epithelial cells within the capsule that held your original lens, and which now holds your replacement lens. These cells produce a cloudy effect on your vision, and can lead to serious vision impairment if not treated.
This condition is referred to as posterior capsule opacification, meaning that the back portion of the capsule is becoming opaque. It occurs in about 20% of cataract surgery patients. It’s also very treatable.
Posterior capsule opacification is treated with YAG laser capsulotomy, a relatively simple procedure that can be performed in Dr. Lewis‘ office. The procedure takes only a few minutes, and usually you can go on about your day afterwards with little to no discomfort. Your eye is dilated with dilating drops, then the YAG laser is used to make an opening in the obscured area of the capsule. No anesthetic is required.
If you’ve recently had cataract surgery, you might need to consider YAG laser capsulotomy if:
- You are experiencing double vision
- You are experiencing blurry vision or “halos”
- Vision problems are interfering with everyday life
- There’s a dramatic difference between vision in one eye over the other
If you have any of these symptoms after cataract surgery, please contact Dr. Lewis right away. Since cataracts can’t grow back after they’ve been removed, there’s a good chance you might need YAG laser capsulotomy to correct your vision.
For more information on posterior capsule opacification and YAG laser capsulotomy, please contact Dr. Stuart Lewis at Cherry Creek Eye Physicians and Surgeons in Denver, Colorado.