What is a Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty?
A selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) is a precise laser procedure used to reduce intraocular eye pressure and preserve vision in glaucoma patients. The goal of SLT is to drain excess fluid from the eye while minimizing damage to the surrounding eye structure. Due to the high success rate of SLT, treatment risks are greatly reduced or eliminated. Additionally, patients experience a greater sense of comfort than with conventional laser treatment for glaucoma.
How Does It Work?
The selective diode laser works with the eye’s immune system to clear blockages and make the eye’s drainage system work better. The gentle laser procedure does not involve making an incision or implanting a device — instead, the laser operates with short microbursts of energy over an extended period of time. This differs from other laser procedures that use a continuous wave of energy. SLT technology also generates less heat, which can damage the eye.
Who is a Candidate for this Procedure?
Usually, laser treatments are recommended when medications are not working to maintain intraocular pressure (IOP), or glaucoma patients cannot tolerate medicated eye drops because of allergic reactions. Laser treatments can be most successful in patients over 60 with:
- Primary open angle glaucoma
- Normal-tension glaucoma
- Pseudoexfoliative glaucoma
- Pigmentary glaucoma
Will Laser Trabeculoplasty Cure My Glaucoma?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for glaucoma right now. However, vision can be preserved in most patients by managing the intraocular pressure (IOP) at safe levels. This safe level is not the same for everyone. It varies depending on the type of glaucoma and the severity of the disease.
A laser trabeculoplasty is a very helpful tool in reducing IOP. However, the positive effects of reducing pressure do not last forever. For many patients, results last about five years. The procedure can usually be performed at least one more time.
Where is the Trabeculoplasty Performed?
Your laser procedure will be safely performed at our eye clinic in Long Beach, CA.
What Can Patients Expect After Laser Trabeculoplasty?
- You will need to wait about an hour after surgery to be checked by your doctor.
- Blurry vision and eye redness are normal on the day after the procedure.
- You should make arrangements for someone to drive you home.
- You will need to take anti-inflammatory eyedrops for about a week.
Will There be an Immediate Improvement in my Intraocular Pressure (IOP)?
No. The IOP usually goes down gradually. Many patients can reduce or eliminate their medications following surgery, but the timeline varies from patient to patient.
The MLT procedure is successful in reducing IOP about 75% of patients. Success rates differ depending on the severity of the patient’s glaucoma and the individual eye anatomy.
Are There Any Complications?
The micropulse diode laser trabeculoplasty is considered very safe. Like any eye procedure, however, some rare side effects may occur:
- Blurry vision lasting more than a day or two
- Immediate temporary increase in eye pressure following the procedure
- Swelling of the cornea
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty, Long Beach, CA
Ready to experience state-of-the-art treatment for glaucoma in Long Beach, CA? Our staff of eye care experts are happy to discuss your glaucoma treatment options in more detail. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!