Often times after an individual has had cataract surgery, the vision can once again become cloudy. This change in vision is due to a posterior capsular opacity, more commonly known as a secondary cataract, the treatment for which is called a procedure called a YAG laser capsulotomy.
Since the symptoms of a secondary cataract mimic that of a true cataract, visual changes can present difficulties for everyday life. A YAG laser treatment can resolve most, if not all, the causes.
Useful preparation Ideas for your YAG laser procedure
Schedule a full evaluation by your medical ophthalmologist. A YAG laser may not be required in all cases, and while the treatment is considered safe, it is important to always weigh any and all risks against the benefits. Additionally, your ophthalmologist will be able to advise you on any alternative treatments to minimize your complaints.
Plan to have someone drive you to your appointment the day of the procedure. There are little, if any, restrictions to a person who has undergone a YAG laser, however the eye having the procedure will be dilated and it is not uncommon for dilated individuals to feel uncomfortable driving.
Arrive on time or slightly early for your procedure. Since this procedure is commonly done in the physician’s office, there may be only an allotted amount of time for your procedure. To ensure adequate time with the physician, it is important to be on time. Failure to do so may result in a rescheduling of your appointment and procedure.
Breathe and remain calm. During the procedure it will be important for you to remain focused on the instructions given to you by your ophthalmologist. This task may become difficult if you are overly anxious. Breathing evenly and asking questions before the procedure starts can help to quiet nerves. If you are overly anxious, speak with your primary care physician and/or ophthalmologist about prescribing a mild medication to help you relax.
Be prepared to follow post-operative instructions. You will be given a prescription for medicated eye drops to be used after the YAG laser treatment. If you know that you are unable to administer eye drops to yourself, be sure to pre-plan with a family member or friend to come over and help you with the task.
Other Tips and Information:
There is no need to temporally stop taking blood thinners or aspirin based medications in preparation for a YAG laser.
It is not necessary to not eat or drink after midnight the night before your YAG laser.
A YAG laser capsulotomy is still a surgical procedure. The decision to undergo treatment should be discussed thoroughly by you and your medical ophthalmologist. No surgery is 100% safe, and a YAG laser is no different.