Patient Information

Eye surgery leaflets

Colchester Eye Centre
Colchester Primary Care Centre
Tel: 07780 005 814
Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm


YAG Capsulotomy

During cataract surgery the capsule is left behind after removal of the cataract and insertion of the lens.

In a small number of patients the capsule thickens and becomes opaque, like a frosted glass window. This stops the light reaching the back of the eye. If this happens your sight will become misty and it could become difficult to see at night or in sunlight.

Capsule thickening can happen in the months after your cataract surgery operation but more commonly occurs two or three years afterwards. The capsule thickening does not damage the eye in any way, it merely makes your sight fuzzy.

Before the treatment

Drops will be put into your eye to enlarge the pupil. This will enable the doctor to have a clear view of the capsule. The drops take up to 30 minutes to work.

The nurse will take you into the laser room.

A drop may be put into your eye to anaesthetise it, and a small contact lens is placed on your eye. Not all patients will have a contact lens.

Placing your head on the frame of the laser machine to keep your eye still, the doctor focuses the laser on the capsule.

During treatment you will see flashes of light.

The laser then makes small holes in the capsule and this takes about 15 minutes.

The laser machine is in the outpatient clinic.

After the treatment

You may be prescribed some drops to take home.

Your vision may be blurred from the drops, so please arrange for someone to drive you home after the laser treatment.

For a few days after the laser you may notice a lot of ‘floaters’. The capsule segment drops to the bottom of the eye over a few days and is normally not very noticeable. The floaters, however, can last up to three weeks after the laser treatment.

Inflammation of the eye

Patients are prescribed drops to prevent this potential complication.


Occasionally the laser can disturb the retina. If this happens you may notice:

  • flashes of light during the daytime
  • a large number of floaters in your vision (it is normal to have some of these in the weeks after laser treatment)
  • a ‘curtain’ drifting across your vision
  • light sensitivity / pain
  • raised eye pressure
  • swelling on the retina
  • inflammation in the eye
  • damage to the lens
  • swelling on the cornea
  • infection

If you suddenly experience any of the above, you need to have your eye examined.

For advice out of hours

Weekdays 5pm–7pm and weekends and bank holidays, 11am–4pm, please telephone 01206 286 882, or contact your GP, or go to a walk-in centre or the nearest accident and emergency department.



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