Getting cataract surgery, even though it’s a safe, effective routine procedure, can be scary to say the least. No one likes to know that they need eye surgery, but it turns out that most people will probably undergo cataract surgery at some point in their lives. People like to know that their pre-surgery anxiety was not in vain, and that their cataract surgery took care of the problem once and for all. So, can cataracts grow back, even after cataract surgery? What happens if they do?
Can Cataracts Grow Back After Surgery?
In a word: no. The only way a cataract can grow is to have the natural lens intact. Cataract surgery involves completely removing the natural lens and replacing it with an artificial one.
However, a very small amount of patients will experience clouding of the lens capsule (the membrane that houses the natural lens, which is left intact after cataract surgery.) This is not a cataract, but can mimic the symptoms and vision changes of one. This condition is called posterior capsule opacification.
What Is Posterior Capsule Opacification?
Posterior capsule opacification is a condition that occurs when the thin membrane that encapsulates the natural lens or artificial lens becomes foggy. It is also sometimes called ”aftercataract”. This can happen right after surgery or many years later.
This issue can be fixed with a quick outpatient procedure called a YAG laser posterior capsulotomy.
The YAG Laser Posterior Capsulotomy Procedure
The YAG laser posterior capsulotomy is quick and the procedure itself is only about 10 minutes. Before starting, your doctor will apply anesthetic eye drops to ensure you will feel no pain. After that, your doctor will use a laser (a YAG laser) to cut a hole into the clouded back lining of the lens capsule. By doing this, your doctor is allowing light to pass through the cloudy lens and hit the retina. This will reduce glare and restore vision.
Recovery from the YAG laser posterior capsulotomy is quite simple and requires little to no downtime. Directly after your procedure, you will stay at the office for another 1 to 2 hours so your doctor can monitor your intraocular pressure (the pressure inside of your eye). If you are found to have elevated intraocular pressure, you will be prescribed some medication to help keep it lowered. This will prevent problems like glaucoma.
Are you worried about cataract surgery? Worried that your vision has regressed after cataract surgery? Be sure to contact your ophthalmologist in TN to schedule a consultation or examination. Here at Loden Vision Centers, we are dedicated to helping patients see clearly at all times. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment with one of our experienced Nashville cataract surgeons, contact us!