Posterior Capsular Opacification


Posterior Capsular Opacification (PCO), also called After Cataract is a relatively common complication after cataract surgery.

During cataract surgery, the natural lens in the eye is replaced with an artificial lens, which is supported by the capsule which originally held the natural lens in place. Occasionally this lens capsule undergoes opacification or becomes cloudy. This can interfere with the vision in ways similar to the original cataract. It may cause blurred vision or you may notice glare. This is not a regrowth of your cataract.

The treatment of PCO is fairly simple. It can be treated with a laser. The laser does not remove the posterior capsule but makes an opening in the centre to allow clear passage of light rays.  The laser uses very low energy and can delicately cut the lens capsule without causing any damage to other parts of the eye.

Risks of laser treatment

The laser procedure is very safe. Occasionally the laser treatment can cause an increase in the eye pressure. Your doctor may treat you with prophylactic drops to prevent this from occurring.

Rarely laser treatment can cause retinal detachment, which may occur days, weeks or months after the laser treatment. Laser treatment may also occasionally cause ocular inflammation or swelling in the back of the eye (macular edema). You may notice a floater in the eye after the laser treatment, which will usually resolve 1-2 weeks after the procedure.


The laser procedure is fairly simple, and can be performed in our clinics. You will have drops to dilate the pupil. You may have anaesthetic drops to numb the eye and the doctor may place a contact lens to help keep your eye in the right position. You will need to place your head against the headrest of the laser machine while the doctor performs the procedure. You may see a green light which is the light used by the doctor to focus the laser beam. You will not have any pain; occasionally you may notice some discomfort. You may notice flashing light or hear some faint clicks from the machine when the laser works.

You may not drive home after the laser. Please make sure you have made alternate arrangements to get back home.

Your vision will be restored to the vision that you had after the cataract surgery

Posterior Capsular Opacification

After YAG Laser Capsulotomy

Disclaimer: The medical information provided on this website is intended solely as an informational resource and should not be used or relied upon for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. It is crucial that you consult your healthcare provider / doctors at Northern Eye Specialists before making any healthcare decisions or seeking guidance regarding a specific medical condition. The doctors at Northern Eye Specialists explicitly disclaim any responsibility and shall not be held liable for any damages, loss, injury, or liability suffered as a result of your reliance on the information provided on this site.