Laser Capsulotomy

What is laser capsulotomy and when is it necessary?

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This procedure is indicated in patients who have had previous cataract surgery and subsequently noticed blurred vision and/or glare and halos around lights.

The natural lens of the eye is surrounded by a tissue called the capsule. This tissue is left in place during cataract surgery. However, the transparent capsule can opacify over time causing visual symptoms. With the use of a laser the capsule can be opened up to improve vision.

What can I expect if I have a laser capsulotomy?

The procedure is done in the eye clinic at the hospital using a Neodymium Yag Laser. You will be given eye drops to dilate your pupil and anaesthetize the surface of your eye. A special lens will be placed on the eye and then the laser treatment will be performed. The procedure usually takes a few minutes to complete.

After the laser is completed, you do not need an eye patch. The vision may be slightly blurred for a few hours after. However, normal activity can be resumed.


In over 98% of yag laser capsulotomy procedures, there are no complications. However, you must be aware in less than 1% of patient’s a retinal detachment may occur. If you notice the onset of flashing lights and/or floaters following the laser treatment; you must all our office immediately for a retinal examination. In less than 1% of patients swelling of the central retina known as cystoid macular edema can occur. This can be treated with drops or an injection and usually resolves but rarely may result in permanent decrease in vision.

Any visual symptoms that are not caused by an opacified capsule such as: retinal problems, glaucoma and/or optic nerve problems will not improved with the laser procedure. This procedure is covered under OHIP.