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YAG laser capsulotomy is a common procedure that some patients need following cataract surgery to see clearly. The treatment is painless and it only takes a matter of minutes to complete.

ALT: YAG cataract surgery follow-up procedure video

When inserting an intraocular lens (IOL) to treat cataracts, the surgeon makes an incision in the capsular bag that surrounds the lens of the eye. Though this incision heals quickly, often times this capsule will begin to produce visible cells after the surgery has occurred (this can be days, months, or even years following the operation); this is a common postoperative condition in the case of cataract surgery, as roughly 40% of IOL recipients experience it. These cells can clutter vision, leading to blurred and hazy eyesight, or problems with glare at night.

What to expect during your YAG procedure:

The laser treatment itself typically takes only a few minutes and is painless. Before the procedure, your eye doctor will dilate your pupil and numb your eye with eye drops (to help make you comfortable with the use of the lens). You'll be sitting upright in a chair with your chin resting in the chinrest of the device. Your doctor will use a small lens lubricated with gel on the surface of your eye to guide the laser and help keep the eye open. During the procedure, your eye doctor will use a YAG laser to create a small opening in the posterior capsule of your eye, which will allow light to enter the eye and improve your vision. After the treatment is finished, your eye is rinsed to remove the lubricating gel from your eye. Your vision may be temporarily blurry immediately after the procedure, which is normal, and it should improve within a few hours.