The laser posterior capsulotomy procedure treats cataracts and entails a doctor applying a topical anesthetic before using a laser to cut a hole in the back lining of the lens capsule, states WebMD. This is an outpatient procedure that requires only a one- to two-hour wait time after surgery.
After a one- to two-hour wait time passes, a doctor checks the pressure of the eye, called intraocular pressure, before approving the patient to leave. The laser posterior capsulotomy procedure does not typically cause pain before or after the surgery; however, pressure in the form of fluid buildup may need to be relieved by the performing doctor, states WebMD.
Patients typically elect to have this procedure after cataract surgery to eliminate cloudiness that forms post surgery. This cloudiness often causes more vision loss than the original cataracts and must be treated, according to WebMD. A common side effect associated with the posterior capsulotomy procedure is pressure buildup behind the eye. Patients are often instructed to use eye drops to help relieve the pressure post surgery. Other, less common side effects include nerve detachment at the back of the eye, swelling of the center of the retina and bleeding into the front of the eye.