Laser surgery is usually performed in the doctor’s office. For comfort during the procedure, an anesthetic eyedrop is often all that is necessary. The laser is a very bright, finely focused light. It can pass through certain parts of the eye without affecting them in any way, and have a specific effect on the targeted tissue.
In some cases, several months or years after cataract surgery, the part of the lens covering that supports the intraocular lens can become cloudy. If this occurs and blurs your vision, the doctor will use a laser to make an opening in the center of the cloudy capsule to allow light to pass through the lens properly again. This procedure takes less than five minutes and requires no recovery period.
This surgery is used to treat open-angle glaucoma. This is performed by Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT).
With SLT, a laser is used at different frequencies, allowing it to work at very low levels. SLT treats specific cells and leaves the mesh-like drainage canals surrounding the iris intact. SLT may be an alternative for those who have been treated unsuccessfully with traditional laser surgery or with pressure-lowering drops.
Even if laser trabeculoplasty is successful, most patients continue taking glaucoma medications after surgery. Many people who have had a successful laser trabeculoplasty may need a repeat treatment in the future.
This procedure is recommended for people who have a type of glaucoma called closed-angle glaucoma. The doctor uses a laser to create a small hole about the size of a pinhead through the top part of the iris to improve the flow of aqueous fluid to the drainage angle. This hole is hidden from view by the upper eyelid.
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