Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty

Selective laser trabeculoplasty is used for patients with open-angle glaucoma. The laser is utilized to treat the drainage system of the eye known as the trabecular meshwork. Treating this area of the natural internal draining system is designed to improve the outflow of fluid from the eye, thereby lowering the pressure.

This type of laser surgery will be effective in some patients but not in others. Your response is determined by the type of glaucoma you have, and the specific structures found in your drainage system. Your doctor cannot predict how well the laser will work before the laser surgery.

The procedure is usually done in one trip to the rooms. Drops will be put into your eye before the laser surgery - these may blur your vision and cause a mild ache. A contact lens is used during the laser. The laser machine looks similar to the examination microscope that the doctor uses at each visit to look into your eyes. The laser itself makes little noise and flashes a light about as bright as a flash on a camera. Almost everybody finds the procedure comfortable and painless. The procedure generally takes about 5 minutes.

Most people notice some blurring in their vision after the laser surgery. This generally clears within a few hours in most individuals. The chance of your vision being permanently affected from this laser is very, very small.

You may need new drops after the laser. In most cases, you will be asked to continue your other glaucoma medications after the laser procedure. You will be notified if there is any exception to continuing your medications.

It will take several weeks to determine how much your eye pressure will be lowered with this treatment. You may require additional laser surgery to lower the pressure if it is not sufficiently lower after the first laser treatment. If the laser does not work you made need additional eye drops and in some cases glaucoma surgery

Glaucoma laser surgery may be followed by other complications. Although rare and unusual, there may be irritation of the eye, inflammation, bleeding or increase in the pressure in the eye requiring different and more extensive treatment.

Contact us following the laser if you have any pain, loss of vision or other concerns.

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  • American Academy Of Ophthalmology
  • American Society of Retina Specialists
  • National Eye Institute
  • Glaucoma Australia
  • Macular Degeneration Foundation