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Private treatment for posterior capsule opacification
The treatment's full name is Nd:YAG (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet) laser capsulotomy. It is a very safe treatment and is very common.
Cataracts is the term for the clouding of the lens in your eye. This affects your vision, but can be corrected using cataract removal surgery. During cataract surgery, your cloudy natural lens is replaced with a clear artificial lens.
In some cases, a hazy membrane can form just behind this artificial lens implant, in the bag (also known as the lens capsule) where it was placed. This affects the light coming through to the back of the eye. This condition is known as posterior capsule opacity, or PCO. It usually occurs a few years after cataract surgery.
The symptoms of posterior capsule opacity are similar to those you will experience with cataracts. These include:
PCO is not dangerous, but it does affect your sight. YAG laser capsulotomy is a fast and easy way of improving these symptoms and restoring your sight. There is no other treatment for PCO other than YAG laser capsulotomy, and the condition will not improve by itself.
A special contact lens is put into your eye and you will be asked to sit in a chair, resting your head against a frame. The surgeon then uses a laser beam to make a small hole in the membrane that has formed behind your lens. This will allow light to pass through and enable you to see better.
YAG laser capsulotomy is a quick and easy outpatient treatment that only takes around 20 minutes to complete. You won't usually need to stay overnight, however you will need to wait at the hospital until the doctor has checked your eyes and given you the all-clear to leave.
Usually one treatment is sufficient, but occasionally a second session is needed.
You should be able to continue with most of your everyday activities almost immediately. Some itchiness and mild discomfort are normal, and can be treated at home with painkillers. You might experience floaters in your eye for around a week, along with some sensitivity to bright light.
You might be prescribed anti-inflammatory eye drops to use at home. You probably won't have to use them for longer than a week. You will be able to visit your optician around two weeks later if you need new glasses.
You should avoid rubbing your eyes, wearing eye make-up and swimming for around a fortnight, and should not resume playing contact sports for around four weeks.
There is a very small risk of a build-up of fluid in the macula, part of the retina. This can distort your sight. There is also a very small risk of the retinal detachment. If you experience flashing lights, extreme pain or loss of vision following a YAG laser capsulotomy, you should seek medical assistance immediately.
It's also possible that the opening made by the laser will be too small or incomplete. In these cases, you will probably need a second treatment.
If you are paying for your own treatment, we offer fixed-price packages, which include the cost of your aftercare. You can spread the cost over a period of up to five years using our flexible payment options.
If you have private health insurance, YAG laser capsulotomy will often be covered by your policy. Speak to your insurer directly to find out.
If you would like to learn more about treatments for cataracts or, book your appointment online today or call a member of our team directly.