Cataracts are extremely common as we get older, in fact, nearly everybody gets them eventually. A cataract occurs when the natural lens inside the eye becomes cloudy. Cataract surgery is a quite safe and successful procedure. We refer many people for cataract surgery every week and complications are rare. There is a minor problem that routinely occurs after surgery that we want to talk about.
In cataract surgery a new plastic lenses is implanted into the eye to replace the previously cloudy lens that was the cataract. A natural capsule holds this newly implanted lenses in place. This capsule rubs against the newly implanted lens and the capsule eventually becomes cloudy or foggy. This routinely occurs between three months to several years after cataract surgery. Patients often come saying that they think their cataract is coming back. The diagnosis of this condition, capsular fibrosis, is easy and the patient is then referred back to the cataract surgeon. A YAG laser is used to remove (literally vaporize) the cloudy capsule and the problem is solved. This takes just a few minutes in the surgeon's office. No cutting of any tissue is required and it is painless. This solves the problem and it never reoccurs.