Q: I’m about to have cataract surgery and while doing research, I came across something about a secondary cataract. What is it and should I be worried about getting it?

Cataract Example

A: A secondary cataract, also known as a posterior capsule opacity (PCO), is a common condition that can occur after cataract surgery. Although it’s sometimes called a “secondary cataract” it’s not really a cataract. Once you have your cataract removed, it can never come back. Cataract removal surgery is very successful, but some patients who undergo the procedure develop a PCO, which occurs when the posterior portion of the old lens, becomes cloudy.


A PCO is common and can easily be treated effectively and safely with a YAG laser, also known as YAG laser capsulotomy. This procedure takes only a few minutes to complete and is performed in your surgeon’s office. This procedure only requires eye-numbing drops and usually has no discomfort associated with it.

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