YAG PCO (Post-Cataract Surgery Haze)

Some patients develop hazy vision after cataract surgery due to clouding of the bag around the artificial lens implant.
This is known as Posterior Capsular Opacification (PCO). PCO can be successfully and permanently treated with laser.

YAG laser treatment for haze after cataract surgery (PCO)

PCO (Posterior Capsular Opacification) is the term given to the haze experienced by some patients after cataract surgery.

During cataract surgery, an intraocular lens implant (artificial lens) is placed within the eye.  It is placed into a natural bag known as the capsule, which holds the artificial lens in the eye.

Over time, in a small proportion of patients (about 20%), this bag may become cloudy or hazy. This is known as posterior capsular opacification or PCO.

There is no known reason why it occurs in some patients and not others, and it cannot be prevented.  However, it is easy to recognise and treat.

If it occurs, PCO usually develops within the first 5 years after cataract surgery.  Patients will notice a gradual blurring of their vision, which is often described as a “haziness” or “mistiness” to the vision.  The vision no longer feels as sharp or clear as after the initial cataract surgery.

PCO is easily and effectively treated with laser, which is performed in our rooms by Dr Then.

It is a painless and quick procedure, generally taking 2 minutes to perform. It is performed with local anaesthetic drops and patients can return home directly after.

No, once it is treated with laser, PCO does not recur.

The vision in the eye recovers very quickly, and most patients will notice a significant improvement in the sharpness and clarity of their vision within 24 hours.

There should be no pain or discomfort after the laser treatment.

You may experience temporary “floaters” in the eye after laser treatment.  These can be seen as black or semi-opaque spots or lines in the vision, usually for 1-2 weeks after treatment.  They usually fade away over time.

Complications during or after laser posterior capsulotomy are very rare.  They include but are not limited to:

  • Retinal tear or swelling
  • Temporary rise in eye pressure
  • Displacement or dislocation of the intraocular lens

These are rare complications that can generally be successfully treated.

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