What is Posterior Sub-capsular Opacification?

During cataract surgery the natural lens in the eye is removed from its surrounding capsular shell and replaced with a clear artificial lens. The back (posterior) part of the capsule which is just behind the artificial lens can become cloudy (opacify) in up to 10-20% of eyes that have undergone routine uncomplicated cataract surgery. You will typically experience symptoms such as blurred vision, and glare and haloes around lights. Some patients report that it seems as though their cataract has returned. Posterior Capsular Opacification or PCO can develop from a few months to years after surgery. It is more common in younger patients and those who have had inflammation following surgery. 

How is Posterior Capsular Opacification Treated? 

PCO is treated using a YAG laser to clear the posterior capsule. This is a straightforward and painless procedure carried out in the clinic whilst seated at a machine similar to ones you will have been examined on before and after your cataract surgery. You will have your pupils dilated and anaesthetic drops will be instilled. A specialised focussing contact lens will be placed on your eye to help focus the laser beam precisely on the posterior capsule, and which also maintains your eyelids open apart. The laser will then be used to create an opening in the capsule behind the lens, which allows all light to be transmitted again to the back of the eye, restoring your vision. The YAG procedure is very quick, lasting approximately 5 minutes per eye. You may notice an increase in floaters initially following treatment, however these normally settle, and visual clarity is usually re-established within a few days. 


Advantages of Going Private with Mr Balaggan for YAG Capsulotomy

“Your surgeon is the biggest factor in the outcome of your treatment”

  • I have performed over 600 YAG capsulotomy procedures, including complex cases.


  • Experience in this procedure is particularly important if you received a premium multifocal lens implant during your cataract surgery. In inexperienced hands there is a greater likelihood of damage to your special lens which could affect the quality of your vision.

  • I am referred very severe cases of PCO which are resistant to YAG laser treatment for consideration of surgical treatment which can only be performed by a vitreoretinal surgeon.


  • Severe complications are rare but do include a small risk of retinal detachment and of macular oedema (see risks/benefits FAQ). You would need to be referred to medical retina and vitreoretinal specialists in order to treat these significant conditions. As I am dual-specialist trained in both medical and surgical retina, I would already therefore be in an ideal position to manage these complications should they arise.


  • Private treatment would allow you bypass NHS-waiting lists and obtain vision-restoring treatment much quicker.

Cost of Private Treatmentt

from £500 per eye*

*prices vary on location of hospital where is surgery performed.

YAG Capsulotomy FAQs