Extracapsular Surgery Follow-Up

A YAG (yttrium-aluminum-garnet) laser is used to correct vision blurred by clouding of the back of the lens capsule that remains after extracapsular surgery. It produces a hole in the back of the lens capsule by focusing a burst of energy onto it. The procedure, called a YAG capsulotomy, leads to prompt clearing of vision.

The risk of retinal detachment with YAG capsulotomy is small, affecting fewer than one in 500 people within three to four years of surgery. This risk is increased in younger individuals as well as those who are extremely nearsighted.

Just as the initial decision to have cataract surgery is based in part on balancing the potential risks and benefits, similar issues are weighed before YAG treatment.

Publication Review By: Susan B. Bressler, M.D., Harry A. Quigley, M.D., Oliver D. Schein, M.D., M.P.H.

Published: 01 Mar 2011

Last Modified: 22 Jun 2011