A posterior capsulotomy is a noninvasive laser procedure to eliminate the cloudiness that occasionally interferes with a patient's vision after cataract surgery. In modern cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is removed, but a thin membrane that held the cataract is left in place. It is this membrane that holds the implanted artificial lens. The posterior or back portion of the capsule is normally clear immediately after cataract surgery, but sometimes it becomes cloudy over time. This can be resolved with a quick in-office laser procedure.

A posterior capsulotomy is for those who

  • have had cataract surgery 

  • have developed a clouding of the membrane behind the lens implant

What to expect on procedure day

The treatment is performed at the Peninsula Eye Surgery Center . Drops will be used to numb your eye and dilate your pupil. No injections or needles are used. When your pupil is dilated, you will be positioned behind the laser and the short procedure will begin.

Your doctor will use a YAG laser to create an opening in the center of the cloudy capsule. The opening allows clear passage of the light rays and eliminates the cloudiness that was interfering with your vision. 

The entire procedure usually takes less than five minutes and you can leave soon afterward. The results of the procedure are apparent almost immediately. However your vision will probably be a little blurry from the drops so someone will need to drive you home. Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory drops for you to use for a few days following the procedure. Most patients resume their normal activities immediately.

Realistic expectations

Serious complications with posterior capsulotomy are extremely rare. Vision is improved in almost all cases. The only exception is when there are other conditions that are reducing your vision.

Yag Capsulotomy - Laser Posterior Capsulotomy