There are several types of laser surgery used to treat glaucoma here in Atlanta. The type of laser surgery will depend on the form of glaucoma and how severe it is.
Laser Treatment for Open Angle Glaucoma
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT)
SLT is a laser that treats the drain directly to help increase the outflow of fluid. It treats specific cells “selectively,” leaving the trabecular meshwork intact. For this reason, SLT may be safely repeated. It is not painful, and often can be an alternative to eye drops in early open angle glaucoma.
Angle-closure glaucoma, also called closed-angle glaucoma, occurs when the iris bulges forward to narrow or block the drainage angle formed by the cornea and the iris. As a result, aqueous fluid can no longer reach the trabecular meshwork at the angle.
LPI creates a small hole in the iris, allowing it to fall away from the drainage angle and unblock the drain.
Laser Peripheral Iridotomy (LPI)
Long-term benefits of glaucoma laser surgery
Glaucoma laser surgeries like SLT help to lower the intraocular pressure (IOP) in the eye. The length of time the IOP remains lower depends on the type of laser surgery, the type of glaucoma, age, race, and many other factors. Some people may need the surgery repeated to better control the intraocular pressure.
Medication following laser surgery
In most cases, medications are still necessary to control and maintain eye pressure. However laser surgery may lessen the amount of medication needed.
In general, you can resume normal daily activities fairly quickly. Your vision may be slightly blurry for about 15-20 minutes after the laser, but quickly returns to normal. You should arrange a ride home after your laser surgery.