Oculase Articles

Why might you need YAG after cataract surgery?

Mr Tariq Ayoub - 1 Sep 2022

One possible side effect of cataract surgery is posterior capsular opacification (PCO). We treat this with a YAG laser capsulotomy procedure. Keep reading to learn more about when you need YAG after cataract surgery and the benefits of this procedure.

YAG laser treatment

Cataract surgery replaces your natural lens with an artificial one to remove a cataract affecting your vision. However, it does come with the risk of posterior capsular opacification. PCO is misleadingly known as a secondary cataract, as it causes similarly cloudy vision. But, it’s linked to how the eye heals after cataract surgery.

If you experience cloudy or misty vision after cataract surgery, it’s likely you have PCO and will need YAG capsulotomy. Roughly 1 in 10 to 1 in 5 people need YAG after cataract surgery due to PCO. Watch our video – What is YAG laser capsulotomy? – to find out more.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding cataract surgery, YAG or PCO after reading our blog, get in touch. Our friendly team are more than happy to provide further information and put your mind at ease.

Why you might need YAG after cataract surgery

PCO doesn’t heal on its own. So you will need medical intervention at some point to restore your vision. If you have PCO, you might experience blurry or double vision and glares or haloes from bright lights.

Not everyone experiences PCO after cataract surgery. Your surgeon will perform the surgery in a way that reduces the risk of PCO. Read our blog to learn more: Can posterior capsule opacification be avoided?

PCO symptoms overlap with quite a few other conditions. We will need to confirm that this is what you have before performing YAG. If you are experiencing a different issue, we will recommend the most appropriate treatment, which may not be YAG.

PCO can develop in both eyes, but it might not appear at the same time. If it forms at different times, you may need two separate YAG procedures – one for each eye. Though this depends on how long it takes for PCO to develop in the second eye. If you experience symptoms of PCO in one eye, we will check the other for signs of it.

We recommend having the YAG procedure if PCO significantly affects your vision and quality of life. If we find significant fibrosis or wrinkling in your lens capsule, we will also recommend the YAG procedure. Read on to learn more about the benefits of the YAG procedure.

Benefits of YAG

The risk of needing YAG after cataract surgery may be daunting, but there are many benefits. After YAG, you will notice an immediate improvement in your vision. The YAG procedure is also a highly effective treatment. Our blog discusses this in further detail: How effective is posterior capsular opacification treatment?

Your work and lifestyle should return to normal after a short recovery period. So you can get back to living your best life. If you couldn’t pass the visual requirement for a driver’s licence due to PCO, this shouldn’t be a problem anymore. Complications during and after YAG are also rare.

Watch our video below as Mr Tariq Ayoub explains whether this procedure is painful.

View more YAG Laser Capsulotomy videos

Before the procedure, we will discuss all the benefits and possible risks so you can feel confident in your decision. We will also take your consent for the surgery. Feel free to ask any questions you have at any point before and after the procedure.

Private YAG treatment

If you have had cataract surgery and are experiencing symptoms of PCO, book an appointment with our eye specialist (ophthalmologist). We will perform a thorough assessment to determine whether you have PCO before recommending when to have the YAG procedure.

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About the author

Mr Tariq Ayoub
Mr Tariq Ayoub, Consultant Ophthalmologist

Mr Ayoub has been rated as one of the top eye surgeons in the UK. He is a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust in London, one of the largest NHS trusts in England. He is also the Lead for the Emergency Department at Western Eye Hospital, as part of the Imperial College Trust.

Mr Ayoub completed his Ophthalmology training at the prestigious London School of Ophthalmology, namely at Moorfields Eye Hospital and Royal Free Hospital. During his career, he has received many prestigious awards from national and international organisations for his work in the field of ophthalmology.

His clinical interests include treatment for cataracts, vision correction, corneal disease, eye-lid disorders, trauma, and general ophthalmology. Mr Ayoub prides himself on the high quality of his work. With his extensive experience, he can holistically manage complex eye conditions to deliver the best care for his patients.

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