Bright Sight

Oliver Backhouse, Consultant Eye Surgeon

Laser Capsulotomy

1] What is the Capsule?

The capsule is the bag within the eye that holds the lens in place. It is very thin and is best thought of as a cling-film wrap around the lens. The lens of the eye is like the lens of a camera and when it goes cloudy we call it a cataract.

2] Why does the capsule go cloudy?

Up to 20% of people will get clouding of the capsule following their lens surgery which can occur months or even years later. This figure varies according to the type of artificial lens used. It occurs due to cell regrowth which follows the surgery. Because of this it appears that the cataract has returned but really it is only the capsule that has thickened as a cataract can not come back.

3] Can the vision be restored?

Yes. As an outpatient, a Laser Capsulotomy can be done. This is a painless safe procedure that takes a few minutes to do on a machine similar to the one that is regularly used to examine eyes. Following some eye drops to dilate the pupil, the laser is focused by the use of a contact lens onto the thickened capsule. After a few flashes of light the procedure is over and you can go home. No drops are needed after.

4] When will the vision be back to normal?

Following the Laser Capsulotomy, you may experience a few floaters but these will settle over a few weeks. Vision is usually much better by the next day. The best vision will occur several weeks later. Very occasionally you can get lots of floaters with associated flashing lights or a shutter effect in your vision. If this occurs you should recontact the eye clinic that day. If you are still experiencing some blurring of vision a month following treatment, it is likely to be due to the need for a glasses update and so you should make an appointment with your Optometrist.