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What Is YAG Laser Vitreolysis For Laser Floater Treatment (LFT)?

Also known as YAG laser Vitreolysis, LFT is a painless procedure that can reduce and sometimes eliminate the visual disturbance caused by floaters.

The aim of the treatment is to achieve a ‘functional improvement’ and to allow the patient to return to ‘normal’ day-to-day activities without the hindrance of floaters.

LFT involves the application of incredibly fast nanosecond pulses of laser light using the latest technology Ellex Reflex to vaporise the vitreous cloudiness (the floater) and to cut the vitreous strands to which they are attached and suspended.

During this process, the floater’s collagen and hyaluronic molecules are converted into a gas, here you may notice small dark shadows in your vision, these are the floaters vaporising into small gas bubbles so they can quickly dissolve within 24 hours and reabsorb into the vitreous.

The end result is that the floater is one of the following: removed, reduced in size, or allowed to displace from the centre of your vision.

Each treatment session lasts between 20-60 minutes and most patients need to have between two to three treatment sessions per eye. If you have a small number of well-defined floaters, you will require less treatment sessions. However, if you have large dense woolly floaters this could require more treatment sessions.

In order to prepare you for this procedure we begin by instilling anaesthetic and dilating drops into the eye being treated. Prof Stanga will then proceed with placing a contact lens onto the surface of your eye and a series of laser light will be delivered through a microscope.

Initially, you will be dazzled in the treated eye and may subsequently observe small, dark blots in your lower field of vision. However, these small gas bubbles will quickly dissolve over the course of 24 hours and should not affect your vision. Some patients may experience mild discomfort, redness or temporarily blurred vision following treatment and that usually resolves within a few hours.

Like with all medical treatments, complications can take place though reported side effects and complications associated with LFT are rare. Side effects may include cataracts and an increase in intraocular pressure (IOP). Prof. Stanga will discuss with you at length the risks as well as benefits of the treatment as part of your initial consultation and prior to you signing a full informed consent form.