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YAG LASER CAPSULOTOMY (YLC)


Your doctor has assessed the benefits of this procedure as outweighing any potential risks. It is a minor laser surgical procedure, which is sometimes necessary to clear the vision after cataract surgery.

In the most usual technique for cataract surgery, we remove the cloudy portion of the lens leaving the back membrane intact. This back membrane is used to support the intraocular lens (implant).

About 20% of the time this membrane can itself become cloudy or wrinkled after surgery, and this can interfere with the vision and cause blurring. YLC is then performed to make an opening in the centre of the membrane to allow for a clear view.

YLC is very safe, and painless. It takes 5-10 minutes, and is performed with the patient sitting at a machine like the examination machine that the doctor uses. Patients go home straight after the procedure. You need drops to dilate the pupil and you cannot drive after this for 1-2 hours.

Less than 1% of patients have problems as a result of YLC. These problems can include:

1. Retinal swelling (macular oedema). This can cause blurring which nearly always responds to time and/or drop treatment. It can be started or made worse by YLC. Your doctor can detect the existence of macular oedema or the potential for it before the laser treatment.
2. A very small number of eyes become red, sore and inflamed for a day or two after YLC.
3. Retinal detachment. This can seriously threaten the vision, and require further surgery to fix. Nearly always the doctor can predict that you are at risk of this complication before proceeding with YLC. (If you are at risk your doctor will often advise consultation with a retina specialist).
4. Implant damage or dislodgment, which has the potential to cause symptoms of glare.
5. It is very rare to need to have a second treatment with YLC.

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