Laser Procedure for Glaucoma 

Laser Procedure for Glaucoma


Laser surgeries have become important in the treatment of different eye problems and diseases. There are several types of laser surgery used to treat glaucoma.

The type of laser surgery will depend on the form of glaucoma and how severe it is. Lasers produce a focused beam of light that can make a very small burn or opening in your eye tissue, depending on the strength of the light beam. Laser surgeries are performed in an outpatient setting in your doctor’s office or in a hospital clinic.

During the laser surgery, the eye is numbed so that there is little or no pain. The eye doctor then holds a special lens to the eye. The laser beam is aimed into the eye, and there is a bright light, like a camera flash.

The following are the most common laser surgeries to treat glaucoma.

Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT)

For the treatment of primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG).

SLT uses a laser that works at very low levels. It treats specific cells "selectively,” leaving untreated portions of the trabecular meshwork intact. For this reason, SLT may be safely repeated. SLT may be an alternative for those who have been treated unsuccessfully with ALT or pressure-lowering drops.

Read more about : How successful is laser surgery for glaucoma?

Argon Laser Trabeculoplasty (ALT):

For the treatment of primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG).

The laser beam opens the fluid channels of the eye, helping the drainage system work better. In many cases, medication will still be needed. Usually, half the fluid channels are treated first. If necessary, the other fluid channels can be treated in a separate session another time. This method prevents over-correction and lowers the risk of increased pressure following surgery. Argon laser trabeculoplasty has successfully lowered eye pressure in up to 75% of patients treated.

Laser Peripheral Iridotomy (LPI)

For the treatment of narrow angles and narrow-angle glaucoma. Narrow-angle glaucoma (also known as angle-closure glaucoma) occurs when the angle between the iris and the cornea in the eye is too small. This causes the iris to block fluid drainage, increasing inner eye pressure. LPI makes a small hole in the iris, allowing it to fall back from the fluid channel and helping the fluid drain.

Pain or Discomfort from Glaucoma Laser Surgery

There is a slight stinging sensation associated with LPI and ALT. In YAG CP laser surgery, a local anesthetic is used to numb the eye. Once the eye has been numbed, there should be little or no pain and discomfort.

Long-term Benefits of Glaucoma Laser Surgery

Glaucoma laser surgeries 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 pressure IOP.

Medication Following Laser Surgery

In most cases, medications are still necessary to control and maintain eye pressure. However, surgery may lessen the amount of medication needed.

Recovery From Laser Eye Surgery for Glaucoma

In general, patients can resume normal daily activities the next day after laser surgery. The procedure is usually performed in an eye doctor’s office or eye clinic. Before the surgery, your eye will be numbed with medicine. Your eye may be a bit irritated and your vision slightly blurry after the surgery. You should arrange a ride home after your surgery.

Risks of Laser Surgery

As with any type of surgery, laser surgery can carry some risks. Some people experience a short-term increase in their intraocular pressure (IOP) soon after surgery. In others who require YAG CP (Cyclophoto-Coagulation) surgery, there is a risk of the IOP dropping too low to maintain the eye’s normal metabolism and shape. The use of anti-glaucoma medication before and after surgery can help to reduce this risk.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Laser treatment can cause side effects, just like any procedure. You may have some swelling or soreness. Sometimes the laser can scratch the cornea (the clear front layer of the eye) or make the cornea very dry. This can be painful, but the pain usually goes away quickly as the cornea heals. Your doctor can give you eye drops to help.

Increased Risk of Cataracts

There is a small risk of developing cataracts after some types of laser surgery for glaucoma. However, the potential benefits of the surgery usually outweigh any risks.

There is a common myth that lasers can be used to remove cataracts; this is not the case except in experimental studies. After a cataract has been taken out with conventional cutting surgery, there often remains an outer membrane lens capsule. This membrane can slowly thicken and cloud vision, just as the cataract did. Laser surgery can open this membrane, helping to clear vision without an operation. This laser procedure is called a capsulotomy.

It is important to discuss all of your questions or concerns about laser surgery with your eye doctor.


10 common question about laser treatment for glaucoma

1How long does it take to recover from glaucoma laser surgery?
The recovery in this case may be accompanied by slight pain or discomfort and it generally lasts longer compared to laser glaucoma surgery. Recovery time after conventional glaucoma surgery usually does not last longer than 3-4 weeks. In rare occasions, it may linger up to several months.
2Is laser surgery for glaucoma painful?
Pain or Discomfort from Glaucoma Laser Surgery There is a slight stinging sensation associated with LPI and ALT. In YAG CP laser surgery, a local anesthetic is used to numb the eye. Once the eye has been numbed, there should be little or no pain and discomfort.
3Is Glaucoma Surgery dangerous?
In the short term after your operation, glaucoma surgery temporarily disrupts your vision. It is important to understand that permanent vision can be reduced, or even, in very rare instances, totally lost as a result of any of these glaucoma operations; however, vision loss is not a common permanent side effect.
4What are the side effects of laser surgery for glaucoma?
However,the side effects of laser treatment were temporary or made no apparentdifference in the long run, while the side effects of eyedrops weretroublesome for some patients for as long as the drops were used.Eyedrops used for glaucoma treatment can cause discomfort in the eye,blurry vision, headaches, and fast or ...
5Is laser treatment for glaucoma safe?
Laser surgery is often used in open-angle glaucoma (the most common form of this eye disease) when medications do not work, are unlikely to work, or produce intolerable side effects. In some patients, laser surgery may be the first mode of therapy if eye drops are not practical or are unlikely to be used properly.
6Are you awake during glaucoma surgery?
Patients who have their surgery under local anaesthesia are awake during the operation but will have the option of requesting light sedation. ... Patients will be aware of the surgeon working around the eye, but should not feel pain.
7Can Laser Surgery stop glaucoma?
Glaucoma can be treated with eye drops, pills, laser surgery, traditional surgery or a combination of these methods. ... The good news is that glaucoma can be managed if detected early, and that with medical and/or surgical treatment, most people with glaucoma will not lose their sight.
8What foods to avoid if you have glaucoma?
You should avoid foods like baked goods such as cookies, cakes, donuts or fried items like French fries or stick margarine to steer clear from worsening your glaucoma. It may also improve your eye health.
9What is the best glaucoma surgery?
Trabeculectomy, still considered the gold standard in glaucoma surgery (commonly performed today with an antimetabolite such as mitomycin-C), remains the most commonly performed glaucoma surgery, with a high success rate in most groups and glaucoma diagnoses, especially in the hands of an experienced surgeon.
10Is having glaucoma a disability?
Social Security will grant disability benefits for glaucoma that has severely affected central and/or peripheral vision. Glaucoma is not a disease by itself, but refers to a group of optic nerve diseases that can cause blindness.

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