Glaucoma Surgery & Treatment

Explore the Benefits of SLT and Optimize your Vision and Eye Health

Laser surgeries have become important in the treatment of various eye problems and diseases, and this is particularly true in glaucoma.  Lasers produce a focused beam of light that can make a very small burn or opening in the eye tissues, depending on the strength and wavelength of the light beam.  Laser surgeries are performed in an outpatient setting in your doctor’s office or hospital clinic.  During the laser surgery, the eye is anesthetized so that there is little or no pain.  Your surgeon then holds a special lens to the eye.  The laser beam is aimed into the eye, and you will notice a bright light, like a camera flash.

The most common form of glaucoma, primary open-angle glaucoma, is now oftentimes initially managed using Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT).  SLT uses a laser that works at very low and safe levels to help lower the intraocular pressure (IOP) in the eye.  Specific cells are “selectively” treated, leaving the remaining portions of the trabecular meshwork, or internal drainage system, intact.  For this reason, SLT may be safely repeated.  SLT may also be an alternative for those who have been treated insufficiently with pressure-lowering drops.  In most cases, medications are still necessary to control and maintain eye pressure.  However, SLT surgery may lessen the need or the number of medications needed.

In general, patients can resume normal daily activities the day of laser surgery.  Your eye may be slightly irritated and your vision mildly blurry after the surgery.  You should arrange a ride home after your surgery.  As with any type of surgery, laser surgery can carry some risks.  Some people experience mild inflammation and/or a short-term increase in their IOP soon after surgery, which can be managed with eye drops.

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