What Is the YAG Eye Procedure?

A YAG procedure, or Nd:YAG posterior capsulotomy, is a type of corrective surgery sometimes needed to correct cloudiness of the lens covering, which is known as posterior capsule opacification, following cataract surgery, explains WebMD. A surgeon uses a laser to correct the cloudiness during the outpatient procedure.

Several months or years after cataract surgery, a patient may notice an after-cataract, which is noticeable cloudiness that may cause as much vision impairment as experienced prior to cataract surgery, according to WebMD. During the YAG procedure, the surgeon uses a laser to cut a hole in the lens capsule’s clouded back lining, effectively allowing light to pass through the membrane to the retina. The procedure is painless, since the surgeon numbs the eyes with anesthetic eye drops before the procedure begins. Patients usually wait in the doctor’s office for around two hours after the procedure so staff can monitor intraocular pressure.

There are some risks for patients undergoing YAG procedures, notes WebMD. Short-term increased intraocular pressure is the most common complication experienced following YAG. Other risks include displacement or damage to the intraocular lens, macular edema, retinal detachment, bleeding in the eye and swelling in the eye’s covering, also known as corneal edema.