Laser Surgery for Glaucoma
At Lucent Vision, Dr. Pathak provides convenient, safe, and effective laser treatment for certain types of glaucoma problems. Below you will find a brief summary of the services provided. If you are scheduled to undergo either of these treatments, we will provide a more extensive discussion of the risks, benefits, and patient experience.
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty or SLT is an effective, essentially painless, and non-invasive surgical treatment for glaucoma. It is a safe procedure that is typically performed in an outpatient setting and is usually completed in 5 minutes. The laser precisely targets the drainage system of the eye to effectively lower eye pressure. This type of laser treatment is repeatable and can also be used as an alternative to eye drops therapy in certain patients.
Laser iridotomy is a non-invasive surgical treatment used to prevent or treat narrow angle glaucoma. In patients with narrow angles or narrow angle glaucoma, the angle between the iris and the cornea is not as wide as it should be. When the angle is narrow, the iris may block the drainage canals and create an elevation of pressure inside of the eye known as a glaucoma attack. A glaucoma attack is an emergency because it causes severe pain and can cause permanent loss of vision.
In the left side of the figure above, the blue arrows demonstrate the normal flow of aqueous fluid in the eye towards the drainage system (the trabecular meshwork). In the right side of the figure above, there is a more narrow angle between the cornea and the iris. This leads to a decreased amount of flow of aqueous fluid into the trabecular meshwork.
On the left side of the figure above (C), the laser is a precise beam of light that can create a small opening in the iris. Creation of this small opening immediately unblocks part of the drainage canals and allows fluid to drain into the drainage system. On the right side of the image above (D) the blue arrow indicates the new route of drainage for the aqueous fluid in the eye into the drainage system (trabecular meshwork).