Posterior Capsular Opacification (PCO)

 In General Ophthalmology

What is Posterior Capsular Opacification (PCO)?

Following uncomplicated cataract surgery, new IOLs are placed on a thin surface called posterior capsule. In some patients this posterior capsule becomes thick, and opaque. This is called Posterior Capsular Opacification (PCO).


Posterior Capsular Opacification

What are the symptoms of PCO?

Usually the vision is decreased, particularly while reading. Some patients notice glare that causes difficulty in driving at night.

Does everyone get PCO?

No. Only 20% of patients may get this after cataract surgery, but the incidence increases with time. Some types of IOLs, have less risk of PCO development than others.



How is PCO treated?

Visually significant PCO is treated by a simple out-patient, office based laser procedure to clean the lens called YAG capsulotomy. This is a painless procedure and takes about 2-3 minutes to complete.



What happens if PCO is not treated?

PCO is not a serious disease nor is it an emergency. If it is not treated, it will increase with time and cause deterioration of vision. The rate of progression of PCO varies from patient to patient.


What are the complications of YAG capsulotomy?

YAG capsulotomy is a safe and painless procedure. No rest or restriction is advised after YAG capsulotomy. Rare complications include: spike in intra-ocular pressure, macular swelling and retinal detachment (extremely rare).