Posterior Capsular Opacification (“After Cataracts”) and the YAG Laser
In some patients after cataract surgery, the membrane that holds the intraocular lens in place can become wrinkled or cloudy with scar tissue. This is called Posterior Capsular Opacification (PCO), or an “after cataract,” and is commonly seen after cataract surgery. If posterior capsular opacification develops, the patient typically notices the onset of blurred vision. PCO is easily treated with the YAG laser. The YAG laser is a “cold” laser which disrupts the scar tissue behind the implant, thus opening up the visual pathway for more light to enter the eye. Because there are no nerve endings in the scar tissue, there is no pain associated with the procedure. Side effects after the treatment include the presence of floaters which typically resolve after several days. YAG laser treatments are covered as a medical necessity under all insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid.