A cataract is an eye condition in which the vision becomes hazy due to the clouding of the lens. The first cataract surgery was performed on 8th April, 1747. Back then, there were numerous complications associated with simple cataract-removal surgery. With modern tools and innovative technology — eye surgeries are much easier and simple now.
Having a success rate of 98% — Cataract surgery is one of those medical procedures that include very few complications. During the medical procedure, the eye physician will replace the cloudy lens (natural lens) with an Intraocular lens or IOL.
In a nutshell
- A cataract is an eye disorder in which a cloud or fog is formed in the natural lens of the eye
- It is like seeing through a foggy transparent mirror
- Surgery is performed to treat cataract in which the natural lens is replaced with an artificial one
- There a few complications associated with cataract surgery
- The most common one is PCO
- YAG Laser is used for treating PCO
Cataract Surgery Complications
Usually, those who undergo cataract surgery don’t face any major complications after the procedure.
However, in some cases, people do end up facing some complications including:
- Posterior capsule opacity (PCO)
- Ptosis (droopy or hanging eyelid)
- Ocular hypertension (elevated eye pressure)
- Intraocular lens dislocation
- Light sensitivity
- Eye inflammation
- Photopsia (flashes of light)
- Macular oedema (abnormal enlargement of the retina)
Nearly all of the above-mentioned complications are easy to treat and don’t lead to any serious disease. The complication that mostly occurs in people who experience cataract surgery is posterior capsule opacity (PCO). So let’s discuss the complication minutely.
Posterior Capsule Opacity (PCO)
PCO is a type of complication in the cataract surgery where the patient starts to experience fogginess or blurriness in the eyesight.
Many people believe this is the secondary cataract which is developed after the removal of the primary cataract. However, this notion is false. Once the cataract is removed by surgery, there is no chance it can come back because artificial lenses are cataract-free.
While treating PCO, the eye surgeon takes every possible measure to prevent any complication. But unfortunately, 20% of the patients develop PCO post-cataract surgery. While there is no fixed time when the complication occurs, most patients get it after one or two months.
Treating Posterior Capsule Opacity
YAG Laser Capsulotomy or YAG is used to treat posterior capsule opacity. YAG is a reliable and secure medical procedure.
The eye surgeon will perform the following steps in YAG laser capsulotomy:
- Eyes are dilated with eye drops
- Then the laser is used to remove the cloudy capsule from the lens
Following the simple procedure, the eye specialist will suggest eye drops to prevent the occurrence of inflammation.
In simple words, YAG laser capsulotomy is an effortless medical procedure in which the surgeon directs the laser beam at the cloudy part behind IOL which as a result vaporizes the tissue and makes the vision clear. It may involve a slight discomfort, but there is no pain. One thing to note here is that you are required to stay still throughout the surgery.
If the patient keeps on moving during the surgery, he or she will be given sedation. It is mostly used for people who are mentally ill (or children).
Once the YAG laser procedure is done, you can resume your normal life activities. Don’t feel anxious, if you experience any floaters in the vision. It is a normal thing that happens after YAG.
If the vision deteriorates or shows no signs of improvement then you can consult the eye doctor. Just like a cataract does not return after its removal, the PCO does not come back once it is treated.
YAG Laser Capsulotomy Risks
YAG laser capsulotomy is a medical procedure that does not involve any risk or threat to the eye. Almost all of the surgeries performed by a qualified eye surgeon ends up well and successful.
However, one risk that is associated with the process is Retinal Detachment which happens very rarely.