The lens of the eye is positioned in an elastic-like capsular bag, which holds it in place and serves as a protective barrier. During cataract surgery, the front portion of the capsule in opened so the lens can be removed and replaced with an intraocular lens.
In some instances, a person may experience blurred, hazy vision, a common condition known as posterior capsular haze (sometimes referred to as “secondary cataract”). An estimated 40% of patients who have cataract surgery will experience posterior capsular haze. It can occur months or even years after the surgery. The YAG Laser is sometimes used by doctors to treat this condition. This treatment is called YAG Laser Capsulotomy.
YAG Laser Capsulotomy is an outpatient procedure, which only takes a few minutes and is entirely painless. After the eyes have been dilated, your eye doctor will use the YAG Laser to create an opening in the center of the cloudy capsule. The majority of patients will notice an instant improvement in vision, while others will experience a gradual improvement over a period of days. Following the procedure, your vital signs and intraocular pressure will be reviewed. You can return to normal activities immediately.
If you are suffering from glaucoma, an Argon Laser Trabeculoplasty (ALT) may be recommended to drain the eye in order to relieve intraocular pressure. This procedure is generally used for patients with open angle glaucoma that is progressively becoming worse despite previous eye drop treatments.
ALT is an outpatient procedure that only takes a few minutes. A numbing agent will be used on the eye and a lens will be used to keep you from blinking. Using a specialized laser, your ophthalmologist will be able to create new channels to promote better flow of fluids within your eye and reduce the intraocular pressure.
Patients may experience mild discomfort during the procedure and some blurry vision following. The blurriness should subside within a couple of days. Follow up appointments will be scheduled to monitor the results of the treatment, and it’s possible that the procedure will need to be repeated depending on the severity of your glaucoma.
Pan retinal photocoagulation laser surgery is performed in proliferative diabetic retinopathy patients to prevent severe vitreous hemorrhage and blindness. The laser causes regression of the abnormal blood vessels which grow at the back of the eye on the retina in diabetic patients.
Each session takes approximately fifteen to twenty minutes and multiple sessions are required. Usually three to four sessions per eye is required to treat the proliferative diabetic retinopathy.
There is some discomfort during the laser, and analgesics such as Tylenol or Advil may be taken before the laser session.
The eye may be irritated and blurred for a few days following the laser surgery. With time, you may notice some decrease in night vision and peripheral vision. This occurs due to the laser treatment, but is necessary in order to control the proliferative diabetic retinopathy.
Patients with disorders affecting the blood vessels of the macula, in particular diabetic retinopathy and retinal vein occlusion, often require this procedure. The laser decreases the leakage from damaged blood vessels, helping to preserve normal retinal thickness and function. The purpose of the laser is to prevent, in most cases, the further worsening of the central vision; and in many cases improve the central vision that was blurred because of the macular edema. The procedure is painless and does not take long to perform.