Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty
Laser surgery is often recommended before incisional surgery as an alternative to, or in conjunction with ocular medications, unless the eye pressure is very high or the optic nerve is badly damaged.
Selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) is an in-office procedure that reduces intraocular pressure in patients with glaucoma. The laser is applied through a special contact lens to the drainage system of the eye where it stimulates a biochemical change that improves the outflow of fluid from the eye.
SLT has been used since 1995 and has a proven track record for efficacy. On average, SLT can lower eye pressure by 20 to 30%. The laser is successful in about 80% of patients. In addition, studies have shown that SLT has a similar outcome compared to the most effective glaucoma eye drops. The treatment effect may last 3 to 5 years and SLT can be repeated when the original treatment effect diminishes.
Usually, eye drops are offered before laser for initial treatment of glaucoma. This stems from the era prior to SLT when laser trabeculoplasty was a relatively riskier procedure. Argon laser trabeculoplasty (ALT), the predecessor of SLT, delivered significantly higher laser energy to the eye resulting in structural damage and higher complication rates. By comparison, SLT has an improved safety profile where complications are typically infrequent, mild and short-lived. Although uncommon, side effects such as a “pressure spike” or inflammation can usually be successfully treated with a short course of medication.
Laser peripheral iridotomy is the standard first-line treatment in closed angle glaucoma and eyes at risk for this condition.
The angle is the space between the clear part of the eye (cornea) and the colored part (iris), close to their meeting point near the edge of the iris. It contains the trabecular meshwork ™, which is the main structure that directs fluid out of the eye.
In closed angle glaucoma, the angle is closed in many or most areas, causing increased eye pressure, which leads to optic nerve damage, and possible vision loss. This rise in eye pressure may occur suddenly (an acute attack of angle closure) or gradually. There are also precursor forms of the disease in which the angle is closed but the eye pressure is not high and the optic nerve is not affected yet.
Yag Laser Capsulotomy
Yag capsulotomy is a special laser treatment used to improve your vision after cataract surgery. It is a simple, commonly performed procedure which is very safe. During your cataract operation, the natural lens inside your eye that had become cloudy was removed.
Transscleral Cyclophotocoagulation laser surgery is a popular minimally invasive treatment for glaucoma.