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24422 Avenida De La Carlota #110,
Laguna Hills, CA 92653

(949) 441-5444

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3500 S Bristol St #202,
Santa Ana, CA 92704

(949) 770-1322

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A guide to painless, precision laser-assisted surgery for “secondary cataracts”

Cataract surgery is one of the most common eye procedures; it is widely performed, with millions of individuals benefiting from it annually. This treatment effectively resolves blurry and hazy vision caused by changes in the eye lens (cataract). The American Academy of Ophthalmology boasts a remarkable success rate of 97% for this procedure. However, as with all surgical procedures, there are potential risks involved. 

In some cases, patients may experience a recurrence of cloudy vision even after a successful cataract surgery. This is known as a “secondary cataract” or “posterior capsule opacification.” Our board-certified ophthalmologists at Orange County Eye Institute in Laguna Hills, California, Drs. George Salib and Alpa Patel specialize in providing safe and effective treatment for this condition to ensure your vision maintains its clarity.

YAG laser surgery to restore clear vision once and for all

Laser technology is widely associated with highly precise, painless, and efficient treatment. A specialized laser with a specific wavelength and short, high-powered pulse can be utilized to target and disrupt the tissues of the eye. In the past, surgical instruments such as scalpels were the only option to surgically treat recurrent cloudiness or “opacification” following cataract treatment. However, the introduction of the Nd: YAG laser has revolutionized the process. This laser enables our skilled ophthalmologists to precisely and safely treat the clouded posterior capsule, restoring your vision to its optimal clarity.

When re-treatment may be necessary 

To better understand the process of recurrent cloudiness or “opacification” following cataract surgery, let’s take a step back and explore how cataracts develop in the first place. As we age, our eye’s natural lens gradually becomes cloudy, primarily due to the deterioration of proteins within the lens. When the symptoms of cataracts begin to impact your vision and quality of life to an unbearable extent, it is usually time to consider cataract surgery. This surgical procedure involves removing the aged and clouded lens and replacing it with a new, artificial lens. These lenses are referred to as intraocular lenses (“IOLs”). These clear IOLs are securely stabilized by the natural lenses’ capsules. 

Over time, these capsules holding the new IOL implants can become cloudy and opacified due to scar tissue formation, which is the condition known as posterior capsular opacification (PCO). The development of PCO is influenced by how the body responds and heals following cataract surgery; PCO can occur weeks, months, or even years after cataract surgery. The clouding of the capsule interferes with the lens’ ability to focus light onto the retina, which is essential for clear vision.

The process 

Treatment of PCO with a YAG laser-assisted posterior capsulotomy is well-tolerated by most patients. Before the procedure, our technicians will administer dilation eye drops to widen the pupil and allow our ophthalmologists to view the capsule easily. Numbing eye drops will also be applied to ensure your utmost comfort. With the expertise of our skilled ophthalmologists, the treatment can be completed in a targeted, low-risk, and comfortable manner in approximately five minutes. The YAG laser is carefully directed towards the treatment site, and the problematic scar tissue surrounding the lens implant is non-invasively lasered. The result is a tiny opening in the posterior capsule that allows light to pass through to the retina.

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(949) 441-5444

The process requires no downtime, allowing you to resume your daily activities promptly. However, as a precaution, Drs. Salib and Patel may advise you to arrange transportation from our office. Additionally, our team will provide guidance on any necessary medications, such as eye drops, and offer instructions on post-treatment eye care. As long as there are no other ocular problems, you can expect a significant improvement in your vision within approximately 24 hours following the procedure. 

Following your YAG laser-assisted posterior capsulotomy procedure, closely monitoring any changes in your eye condition is important. We encourage you to reach out to us promptly at (949) 770-1322 should you notice any concerning changes, such as swelling, redness, pain, or any other unexpected symptoms.

Please feel free to contact our clinic to schedule a consultation and learn more about how YAG laser-assisted posterior capsulotomy can restore your clear vision.


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George Salib , MD, MS

Dr. George Salib is a leading cataract specialist and top ophthalmic surgeon in California.

An alumnus of UCLA, Georgetown University, and University of Wisconsin Medical School, he received ophthalmology training at King-Drew Medical Center, a residency program affiliated with UCLA, and followed a fellowship in advanced surgical techniques at Tulane University, New Orleans.

Besides cataract treatments, Dr. Salib is also experienced in multifocal lenses, laser eye treatments, Glaucoma, corneal transplants, macular degeneration, Comprehensive eye care, Laser assisted cataract surgery, Dry eye and pterygium surgery. He is passionate about educating others on eye health and is committed to helping patients maximize their vision and living their lives to the fullest.

Connect with George Salib , MD, MS on Linkedin

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