Posterior capsule opacification (PCO) is a complication that can occur after routine cataract or lens replacement surgery. It affects 20% of standard, enhanced, premium and complex intra-ocular lenses equally.


What is posterior capsule opacification (PCO)?

When cataracts and natural lenses are removed, microscopic cells can be left behind on the natural capsule bag that holds the new intra-ocular lens implants. PCO is caused when these cells reproduce reproduce and thicken the bag.

What are the symptoms of PCO?

PCO can cause a reduction in the quality of vision, blurring and haziness.  Some patients describe the symptoms as being like a cataract.

How is PCO treated?

Posterior capsule opacification can be corrected with a simple YAG laser treatment, called a laser capsulotomy.  This is performed in clinic as an outpatient procedure.

Firstly, drops are used to dilate the pupil and further anaesthetic drops are used to numb the eye.  Then the consultant will use a lens on the front of the eye for stability and use the YAG laser to create a hole in the thickened capsule.  This hole allows light to pass through the capsule unobstructed and improves the vision. No further aftercare is necessary.