Superior Results through Superior Technology
We offer a range of laser eye surgery options at our Phoenix-area practice, the Arizona Eye Institute & Cosmetic Laser Center. One type of technology we use is the YAG laser, which can be utilized to treat cataracts. "YAG" is an acronym for "yttrium-aluminum-garnet" and a YAG laser is composed of invisible infrared light. In general, the word "laser" stands for "Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation." A laser is a concentrated beam of light, created when an electric current passes through a special material. The YAG laser is a "photodisruptive" type of laser whereby the light cuts or sculpts the tissue, similar to a knife. This photodisruptive beam cuts thin membranes inside the eye that are blocking vision.
The most common ophthalmic procedure in which a YAG laser is used is known as a "posterior capsulotomy," which is a laser eye surgery procedure which is often necessary after cataract surgery. The posterior capsule which normally supports the intraocular lens implant following cataract surgery is normally clear. However, with the passage of time, this capsule can become cloudy or wrinkled, most commonly within 12 to 24 months after surgery. It acts much like a piece of cellophane, which is easy to see through when stretched tight, but which causes blurred vision when wrinkled or opacified. This wrinkling or cloudiness can interfere with vision in ways similar to the original cataract.
If the clouding of the posterior capsule interferes with vision, then laser eye surgery - a YAG laser capsulotomy - is recommended to make a small surgical opening in the capsule to again restore normal sight. It is not necessary to remove the entire capsule as it is left in place to support the IOL (lens implant), but a very small opening in the center of the capsule is made with the YAG laser to allow clear passage of light rays reaching the retina.
This YAG laser capsulotomy usually takes less than one minute to perform, and is a quick painless procedure. Most patients feel quite comfortable driving themselves home following the procedure which is performed as an outpatient with only topical (eyedrop) anesthesia.
Laser eye surgery offers several advantages over traditional eye surgery techniques:
- There is no risk of infection from the laser light
- Laser surgery can be performed in an outpatient setting, allowing the patient to go home shortly after the procedure is finished
- The surgeon has great precision and control
Learn More about Laser Eye Surgery Treatment Options - Contact Us
If you suffer from cataracts and are interested in learning more about your treatment options, including different types of IOLs and laser eye surgery, we can help. At our Phoenix-area eye care center, a team of professionals can discuss your options with you, diagnose your condition, and answer any questions you may have regarding treatment. We pride ourselves on delivering superb results for our patients and would be honored to have the opportunity to work with you. To schedule a consultation, contact the Arizona Eye Institute & Cosmetic Laser Center today!