I just had cataract surgery on my right eye today, and had a Tecnis 1-piece lens implanted. My surgeon said that part of the cataract was stuck to the back of the lens sac. She said that she scraped some of it off but didn't want to risk tearing the sac. She said that she could remove more of the cataract with a laser treatment at a later time.
When I previously read through this forum I don't recall seeing anything about this kind of cataract problem. Is there someone who is familiar with this who could tell me more about it and if it really can be corrected at a later time?
The type of cataract that you had sounds like a posterior subcapsular. As the risks for you are higher if the back [posterior] capsule is damaged at the time of cataract surgery, the membrane can be opened later with a rapid, five minute YAG laser procedure. This is commonly performed after cataract surgery and can restore your vision.
Sandy T. Feldman, M.D., M.S.
ClearView Eye and Laser Medical Center
San Diego, California
Boy, is this ever common. If you google 'posterior capsular opacification' or 'after-cataract,' you will see that it ultimately happens to at least 20%-30% of people who have had cataract removal. Apparently it's more common in younger patients.
It doesn't mean that anything went wrong with the original surgery. All that's going on is that cells that were left behind after the cloudy lens was removed have continued to grow on the back surface of the bag or capsule, making it cloudy. In the standard treatment for it, the doctor uses a laser to cut a little hole in the cloudy area so light can get through.
I had to have it done a few months after my implant was inserted, and it's an understatement to say it was no big deal. It takes maybe 5 minutes and is painless.
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