Northwest Office:
520.888.6600

Eastside Office:
520.795.4202

YAG Laser Capsulotomy FAQ

What is a secondary cataract?
What symptoms would I have?
What caused this film to develop?
What is the treatment for a Secondary Cataract?
Will it grow back?
Are there any risks?
Do I need to go to the operating room?
Will the procedure be painful?
Will I need anesthesia?
Can I eat and drink before the procedure?
What else should I know about the treatment?
Can I drive myself to surgery?
Will I have any restrictions after the laser?
Will I need a follow-up appointment?
Is the YAG laser treatment covered by my insurance?

What is a secondary cataract?

A secondary cataract is a posterior opacification. It's also known as an after cataract. It is a cloud or film that develops behind the lens implant that was placed in your eye when the cataract was removed. When the cataract is removed, this film is crystal clear like Saran Wrap. Over time it becomes cloudy or hazy like waxed paper resulting in blurred vision.

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What symptoms would I have?

Most patients describe the same symptoms that they had when they first had their cataracts removed. Symptoms include: blurred vision, halos around lights and glare.

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What caused this film to develop?

After successful cataract surgery, microscopic cells grow on the back surface of the lens implant. With time these cells can make the normally transparent membrane hazy. This cannot be prevented. It can develop soon after surgery or even several years following surgery. It is not a complication of surgery.

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What is the treatment for a Secondary Cataract?

A laser is used to make an opening in the cloudy membrane. The procedure is called a YAG Laser Capsulotomy.

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Will it grow back?

Once an opening has been made with the YAG laser, the film will only return on rare occasions.

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Are there any risks?

As with all surgery, there are some risks involved. However with a YAG laser capsulotomy, the risks are very small. The risks include but are not limited to: problems with the retina and increased eye pressure. We will discuss this with you before surgery.

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Do I need to go to the operating room?

Yes, laser treatment is done as an outpatient procedure at Catalina rgery center.

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Will the procedure be painful?

For most patients the procedure is painless.

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Will I need anesthesia?

Aside from dilating drops, there is no need for any anesthesia, needles or injections.

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Can I eat and drink before the procedure?

There are no restrictions on eating and drinking. You may take you medications as usual. There is no need to stop blood thinners or aspirin.

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What else should I know about the treatment?

The procedure takes just a few minutes. However, expect to be at the surgery center for an hour and a half. Your eye will be dilated. About twenty minutes after the procedure we will check the pressure in your eye.

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Can I drive myself to surgery?

In many situations it is permissible for the patient to drive themselves to the procedure. Your vision will be blurry for a few hours afterward.

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Will I have any restrictions after the laser?

You can resume normal activities as soon as the blurred vision has resolved.

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Will I need a follow-up appointment?

Yes, we will check your eyes two weeks after the procedure. This is a dilated appointment. We will check your vision.

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Is the YAG laser treatment covered by my insurance?

Yes, if your vision is functionally limited by the haze behind your lens. You will need to check with your insurance for any required copays or deductatbles, associated with the procedure.

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Please let us know if you have any additional questions. Our surgery schedulers can be reached at either office.

East: 5240 E. Knight Dr. Suite 104 | Tucson AZ| 85712 | 520.795.4202 Northwest: 6130 N. La Cholla Blvd. Suite 245 | Tucson AZ | 85741 | 520.888.6600