Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What is a YAG PI?

A YAG PI, or a YAG laser peripheral Iridotomy, is a procedure to treat or prevent angle closure glaucoma. YAG PI’s are also done before Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) surgery, such as a Visian lens, to prevent angle closure during and after surgery. This procedure uses the YAG laser to create a hole in the iris, which allows fluid to drain from the eye in order to be absorbed by surrounding eye tissue. The eye continuously produces fluid in order to maintain healthy pressure in the eye. Old fluid drains through the Trabecular meshwork as new fluid is made. In some people, this drainage system can become blocked, leading to a rise in intraocular pressure. If untreated, this increased pressure can cause permanent vision loss. The YAG laser is used to create a tiny opening in the iris as a "back up drain" in the event of a blockage. This microscopic opening is made in the iris under the upper eyelid. This opening, known as a peripheral Iridotomy, is generally positioned to one side of the 12 o’clock position, and is less than 1mm in diameter. This tiny hole helps maintain a normal flow of fluid through the eye thus preventing visual loss due to a rise in intraocular pressure.

A YAG PI typically takes less than 5 minutes. Dilation is not necessary for the procedure; however, the eye will be numbed with anesthetic drops. When a peripheral Iridotomy is indicated for both eyes, the procedures are usually done at least a week apart. Prescription steroid drops are required for five to seven days following the procedure. Patient recovery is very quick; generally 2-3 days, although some sensitivity to light can be present for up to a week after treatment.

If you have questions about a YAG PI, or are looking to find out more about having a YAG PI before an ICL surgery, contact Eyecare Medical Group at 888-374-2020.