Saturday, June 6, 2009

Will I Need A Posterior Capsulotomy After Cataract Surgery?

During cataract surgery, a part of the front (anterior) capsule of the natural lens of the eye is removed to gain access to and remove the lens. The clear, back (posterior) capsule remains intact and supports an intraocular lens (IOL), a plastic or silicone disc that is implanted in the eye and replaces the natural lens. As long as that capsule stays clear, you will experience good vision. However, in 10 to 30 percent of cases, the posterior capsule loses its clarity. When this happens, your ophthalmologist can create an opening in the capsule using a laser in order to restore normal vision. This procedure is called a posterior capsulotomy.

Before the procedure, the ophthalmologist does a thorough ophthalmic examination to make sure there is no other reason for vision loss.

The posterior capsulotomy is painless and takes approximately five minutes. Vision usually improves within hours. A Yag laser is usually used for this procedure.

Potential but rare complications following laser posterior capsulotomy are increased intraocular pressure and retinal detachment.

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