Modern-day cataract surgery at Rush Eye Associates involves removing the cloudy interior contents of the Crystalline Lens while leaving the clear outer membrane known as the “capsule” in place. This is left in place in order to maintain the intraocular lens implant (IOL) in the proper position.
The lens capsule is actually comprised of living cells responsible for producing lens fibers. Occasionally – even after cataract surgery – it may continue to produce fibers that create tiny “beads” or “pearls” on the capsule. These can actually form a “secondary membrane” that patients often think is a “second cataract.” However, once your cataract has been removed and replaced with a custom lens implant, your cataract will NEVER return.
If the secondary membrane obstructs the pupil it may cause your vision to blur in a similar to what was experienced as a result of your cataract. That’s why post-surgical cataract patients often think their cataract has returned.
This phenomenon can occur in approximately 20-40% of patients after cataract surgery and can appear at any time after cataract surgery, from as little as a few weeks to as long as five or more years after the initial cataract removal.
Fortunately, even in instances where the blurred vision caused by the secondary membrane is visually significant, there is an outpatient, highly effective type of laser treatment to clear away the secondary membrane.
This type of laser treatment is called a YAG Laser Capsulotomy. Should you need a YAG Laser Capsulotomy, we are able to provide this right in the comfort and convenience of our outpatient facility. It is important to understand that with a YAG Laser Capsulotomy, there is absolutely no pain involved in this procedure and patients can resume their normal activities immediately.