YAG lasers are the most up-to-date form of treatment for several eye conditions, including certain issues relating to glaucoma and cataracts. Safe and painless, the precision these lasers provide make the procedures for which they are used efficient and highly successful.
Laser surgery for glaucoma aims to increase the outflow of fluid from the eye or eliminate fluid blockages. Laser peripheral iridotomy is often the best option for patients with narrow-angle glaucoma. A small hole is made in the iris with a YAG laser to increase the angle between the iris and cornea and encourage fluid drainage.
A peripheral iridotomy may be performed to prevent or treat bouts of acute glaucoma as well. It can help to maintain vision, but it cannot restore vision that has already been lost. Clouding of the covering of the new lens is the most common complication of cataract surgery and can cause blurred vision to return. Sometimes called an aftercataract or secondary membrane, this affects about one in four people within five years of having cataract surgery.
A procedure called a posterior capsulotomy, using a YAG laser, can be performed to remove the back lining of the lens capsule and let light pass through to the retina. The laser cuts a hole in the back lining, which helps remove cloudiness in the lens and restore clear vision.
Yag Laser Capsulotomy
During cataract surgery, your doctor replaces the clouded, blurry area of the lens with an artificial one to correct vision. However, after surgery, many people experience a gradual clouding on the covering of the new lens, a condition known as aftercataract or secondary membrane. Clouding is the most common complication of cataract surgery and can cause blurred vision to return, but a solution is available to treat this side effect.
A procedure called a posterior capsulotomy, using an Nd: YAG laser, can be performed to remove the back lining of the lens capsule and let light pass through to the retina. The laser cuts a hole in the back lining and helps remove cloudiness in the lens.
The capsulotomy can be performed in your doctor’s office and is a painless procedure that does not require any anesthesia. It is considered a safe procedure and most people only experience short-term increased eye pressure.
A YAG capsulotomy cannot prevent clouding of the lens, but can be beneficial to the 1 in 4 people who experience this complication. It is important to weigh the possible risks and benefits, similar to that of the original cataract surgery, before deciding upon treatment. Most people experience improved vision and reduced glare after undergoing a posterior capsulotomy.
Yag Laser Irodectomy
Laser peripheral iridotomy, also known as LPI, is a laser procedure used to lower eye pressure in patients with narrow-angle glaucoma. Narrow-angle glaucoma is a condition that occurs when the angle between the iris and the cornea in the eye is too small, resulting in a blockage of fluid in the drainage channel of the eye. Using a laser, a small hole is made in the iris to increase the angle between the iris and cornea allowing fluid to drain from the eye.
Laser peripheral iridotomy is an outpatient procedure. Patients are given eye drops to constrict the pupils. Once these have taken effect, an anesthetic is applied to the eye and the laser treatment can begin. The doctor precisely targets a spot in the periphery of the iris and uses laser pulses to create a tiny hole. The procedure is completed in a few minutes and most patients experience little to no discomfort.
After the laser treatment, the patient’s intraocular pressure will be monitored several times to ensure the LPI was successful. Patients may experience irritation and blurry vision after the procedure which should disappear within a few days. Topical corticosteroids will need to be applied to the eye for approximately one week to prevent swelling and promote healing.