Approved by the FDA in 2001, selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) is one of the latest advances in the treatment of intraocular pressure in patients with open angle glaucoma. SLT, a “cold laser” which selectively targets the eye’s drainage system, may reduce the need for expensive eye drop medications. Unlike previous laser treatments, SLT does not cause scarring or damage to surrounding tissue.
SLT offers the following benefits:
- SLT takes only minutes to perform in the office.
- Very few patients experience any discomfort with SLT.
- There are no restrictions or limitations after the treatment.
- SLT does not involve needles, knives, sutures or hospital surgery.
- SLT is successful for most patients although not everyone will benefit from treatment.
- Just one treatment may reduce the daily use of expensive glaucoma drops.
- Almost every insurance company covers SLT, including Medicare.
Laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI) is frequently used to treat narrow-angle glaucoma or prevent glaucoma attacks in patients with anatomically narrow angles. Narrow-angle glaucoma occurs when the angle between the cornea and the iris (the colored part of the eye) is too small. This may limit proper drainage of the eye’s fluid and can produce a rapid, painful rise in the intraocular pressure (called an acute angle-closure glaucoma attack). During the procedure, the surgeon uses a YAG or Argon laser to make a small opening in the peripheral iris to improve fluid drainage and potentially lower the intraocular pressure.
When glaucoma continues to progress despite the use of medications and/or laser treatments, it may be necessary to perform a surgical procedure called trabeculectomy or filtration surgery. During the procedure, a filter known as a “bleb” is created in the tissue which lines the outside wall of the eye. The bleb provides an alternate passage for aqueous fluid to flow out of the eye, thus lowering the intraocular pressure.
iStent: A New Treatment for Glaucoma (MIGS)
If you have glaucoma and cataracts, iStent is designed to improve your eye’s natural fluid outflow to safely lower eye pressure by creating a permanent opening in the trabecular meshwork. Proven safe and effective, the iStent Trabecular Micro Bypass is a surgical therapy that:
- Is safely implanted during cataract surgery
- Spares important eye tissue that is often damaged by traditional surgeries
- Does not limit treatment options that could help maintain your vision in the future
iStent is the smallest medical device ever approved by the FDA and is placed in your eye during cataract surgery. It is so small you won’t be able to see or feel it after the procedure is over. By creating a permanent opening in your trabecular meshwork, iStent is designed to improve the outflow of fluid from your eyes and help control eye pressure.