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Posterior Capsule Opacification

What is Posterior Capsule Opacification?

Posterior Capsule Opacification (PCO) is a common condition that develops in approximately 35% of patients who have undergone cataract surgery. It can occur within weeks or years after surgery. When cataract surgery is performed, the natural lens is removed, but the clear membranous covering of the cataract (the posterior capsule) is left behind. This capsule provides protection for and keeps the new IOL in place. Over time, the capsule can become clouded by various proteins within the eye. Posterior Capsule Opacification symptoms are very similar to cataract symptoms. These include: blurring of vision, glare in daytime or when driving and difficulty seeing near objects that were clear after cataract surgery.

How is it treated?

The PCO can be easily and quickly fixed by a YAG laser capsulotomy. This procedure, commonly referred to simply as a YAG procedure, has very little risk and usually requires only one treatment.

The doctor will apply anesthetic so that you won’t feel pain. Then he or she will use a laser to cut a hole in the clouded back lining the lens capsule. This allows light to pass through the opening in the membrane to the retina at the back of the eye.

What to expect after a YAG capsulotomy.

It is common to have a new floater in the eye after this surgery. Eventually, the floater will settle to the bottom of the eye or will be absorbed of the floater through the natural processes within the eye.

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