This page provides information about what to expect when you have Yag laser capsulotomy treatment.

What is Yag laser capsulotomy?

After cataract surgery, the bag (capsule) that holds your implant in place, inside your eye, can thicken and mist over causing your vision to blur. This can happen quite often after cataract surgery and is known as capsule opacification.

A laser beam can be used to clear a central window in this capsule through which you will be able to see clearly again. This procedure is called a capsulotomy, and can be performed easily in the Eye Clinic. The procedure will be carried out by a nurse practitioner or a doctor.

The type of laser used is a Yag laser, so the procedure is often known as a Yag laser capsulotomy.

On the day of your treatment

  • Do not drive to the appointment as your vision will be blurred for several hours after the treatment.
  • Use all of your usual eye drops including any glaucoma drops.
  • Bring all your glasses with you.

Before the laser treatment

The procedure will be explained to you and once you are happy to go ahead, you will be asked to sign a consent form. Feel free to ask about anything you are unsure about.

Your vision will be tested and drops will be put into your eye(s) to be treated. This is to enlarge your pupil(s) and will take about 10 to 15 minutes to work. It will also blur your vision.

You will be seated at the laser machine, which is like the slit lamp used to examine your eyes in the Eye Clinic.

During the laser treatment

Laser capsulotomy is not a painful procedure. The laser treatment starts when you are comfortable and takes between

5 and 10 minutes. During this time you may hear some clicking sounds and see some red bright lights.

Do not worry about blinking. A contact lens may be placed on the front of your eye to keep the eye open. This will not be painful as numbing drops will be used.

Important information

Your vision may be a little dazzled for a number of hours after the treatment.


You must not to drive until it clears.

It is also usual to experience ‘floaters’ (shapes floating in your vision) for a few days after treatment. These should settle within a day or two. Use your glaucoma drops as normal.


  • The pressure in the eye can rise, this may be treated with eye drops or tablets.
  • A retinal tear or detachment can occur in the following 3 months but this is rare.
  • Fluid can build up in the retina (used for detailed vision) causing a reduction in your vision.

Please contact the Eye Triage Line if you experience any of the following after your laser treatment:

  • Flashing lights
  • Reduced vision
  • Pain
  • Redness

Contact information

Eye Triage Line

Tel: 0300 422 3578

Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 1.00pm and 2.00pm to 5.30pm

Saturday, 8:00am to 1:00pm

Out of these hours your call will be diverted to the operator who will put you in touch with the ophthalmologist on call.

Printable version of this page

Yag laser capsulotomy GHPI0354_04_24 Department: Ophthalmology Review due: April 2027 PDF, 308.3 KB, 3 pages
Reference number GHPI0354_04_24
Department Ophthalmology
Review due April 2027