Many patients get upset to know that their cataracts are coming back even after the removal surgery. They experience the similar blurry vision and even double shadows with what they underwent before the surgery was performed. Although this does not necessarily occur with every cataract surgery, the occurrence of secondary cataract can be another problem which requires proper treatment, so that the seeing ability can be improved.
Treatment for secondary cataract treatment
Secondary cataract is signed by the occurrence of blurry or hazy vision after a performed cataract surgery. This is possible as the posterior membrane that supports the implanted eye lens has growing tissues that eventually grow over the membrane, causing hazy layer that keep light from coming into the eye lens sufficiently. Nowadays, occurring secondary cataract can be treated with a treatment called YAG laser capsulotomy. This treatment is used to remove the haziness felt after a cataract surgery and to restore normal vision ability. YAG laser treatment is quite fast, painless, and highly effective in removing overgrown tissues on the posterior membrane of the eye that causes haziness. This is in fact, a common procedure that is relatively painless and very safe.
YAG laser procedures
In order to provide treatment for secondary cataract, YAG laser procedures are done in these common steps and procedures:
⦁ Dilating eye drops are used before the procedure is performed. This is essential as these eye drops will be used for dilating the eye, so that it is easier for the surgeon to perform the light-based surgery.
⦁ A laser is used to remove the hazy posterior capsule from your line of sight. This procedure is done without the need of making any incisions or touching the eye.
⦁ Sedatives are not commonly required in this kind of surgery, but uncooperative patients, such as children may need some, as the patient is required to remain quiet and still during the procedure.
⦁ After the procedure, anti-inflammatory is prescribed, which will be used for minimizing the risk of post-surgery inflammation and swelling.
The YAG laser procedure takes only few minutes and is entirely painless. This laser procedure does not likely to cause any complications after performed.
What to expect after the surgery?
⦁ As soon as the procedures are complete, you can resume any normal activities without difficulties. Hence, you can immediately start any activities you used to do before the procedure. After-surgery discomforts are quite minimal with a YAG laser procedure, so that you will be able to go home immediately.
⦁ It is possible that after a YAG laser procedure, the patient notice some floaters in their vision for a few weeks, but this is not harmful and instead, will disappear when the eye has adjusted well.
The risks of YAG laser capsulotomy
A YAG laser capsulotomy does not usually trigger complicated risks, as this is a quite safe procedure. The most important risk of this procedure is that the retina may detach from the inner back of the eye. Fortunately, this risk rarely occurs and thus, the procedure is quite safe.
Cost of YAG laser capsulotomy
Recently, up to 50% patients that once had their cataract surgery have a YAG laser treatment. This is considered as safe, low-risk laser surgery, yet quite costly. However, this is the only effective treatment one should undergo if they are suffering from secondary cataract that occur following cataract removal surgeries. The cost for one-eye YAG laser capsulotomy is approximately $500-550 and thus $950-1100 for both eyes. As the surgery does not require complicated recovery procedures, there is no specific cost intended for patient recovery. A patient undergoing the procedure can be sent home directly.
Despite this, some follow up appointments may need to be done afterwards, and one session may cost up to $120-150. These follow up sessions may need to be done once or twice, depending on how your eye reacts to the YAG laser capsulotomy. As long as there is no severe post-operative complications observed, these follow up sessions can be minimized. However, if severe complication occurs, immediate discussion with an eye surgeon is required. This is important as severe complications of YAG laser capsulotomy may include retinal detachment that may result in blindness.