YAG laser surgery is the most up-to-date form of treatment for several eye conditions. Most commonly, it is performed to treat cataracts and several types of glaucoma. The surgery, which utilizes advanced laser techniques, is precise, safe and often highly successful.
YAG Laser Surgery for Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a disease in which fluid in the eye builds up and damages the optic nerve. There are two basic types of glaucoma: open angle and closed angle. The angle refers to the area between the iris and cornea, through which fluid escapes. The success rate for YAG laser glaucoma surgery varies with the nature and stage of the disease. Since glaucoma is a disorder in which there is high pressure in the fluid of the eye, the surgical procedure is designed to promote drainage. At times, YAG surgery may effect an almost complete lowering of eye pressure, but in many cases prescribed eye drops will still be required. Surgeries which result in symptom relief for one to five years are considered successful.
YAG Laser Surgery for Posterior Capsulotomy
Posterior capsular opacification, or PCO, is a frequent complication of cataract surgery. Sometimes called a secondary cataract, PCO recreates the visual difficulties originally experienced as a result of the cataract. YAG laser surgery is recommended if the clear posterior capsule now holding the intraocular lens of the eye, or IOL, becomes cloudy or wrinkled and the resulting visual problems interfere with daily living. During the posterior capsulotomy, a YAG laser is used to open a window in the back of the lens capsule to let light pass through to the retina, restoring clear vision.
Risks of YAG Laser Surgery
YAG laser surgery is considered to be very safe, but all surgical procedures involve some risk. In the posterior capsulotomy, the most serious risk is that the retina will detach. While the rate of occurrence of a detached retina approximately doubles after this surgery, the risk is still only about 2 percent. There is also a risk that eye pressure will temporarily rise after the procedure.
Risks of YAG laser surgeries from glaucoma may include:
- Failure to achieve desired results
- Continued need for medication
- Need for further surgery
- Permanent loss of vision
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
Optical coherence tomography, also known as OCT, is an imaging system that uses light waves to produce a high-resolution view of the cross-section of the retina and other structures in the interior of the eye.
Conditions Detected With an OCT
The images can help with the detection and treatment of serious eye conditions such as:
- Macular hole
- Macular Swelling
- Optic Nerve Damage
- Age-Related Macular Degeneration
- Macular Pucker
- Diabetic Eye Disease
- Vitreous Hemorrhage
OCT uses technology that is similar to that of a CT scan of internal organs. With the scattering of light it can rapidly scan the eye to create an accurate cross-section. Each layer of the retina can be evaluated and measured and compared to normal, healthy images of the retina.
The OCT exam takes about 10 to 20 minutes to perform in your doctor's office, and usually requires dilation of the pupils for the best results.
The Humphrey visual field is a diagnostic test to measure visual fields, or perimetry. The Humphrey visual field test measures the entire area of peripheral vision that can be seen while the eye is focused on a central point. During this test, lights of varying intensities appear in different parts of the visual field while the patient's eye is focused on a certain spot. The perception of these lights is charted and then compared to results of a healthy eye at the same age of the patient to determine if any damage has occurred.
This procedure is performed in about 20 minutes and is effective in diagnosing and monitoring glaucoma. Patients with glaucoma will undergo this test on a regular basis to determine the progress of the disease. The Humphrey visual field test can also be used to detect conditions within the optic nerve of the eye, and certain neurological conditions as well.
To learn more about our Ophthalmology Services, please contact us at (321) 242-2026 today to schedule an appointment.