Lasers and Surgeries for Glaucoma
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is an eye disease in which the optic nerve is damaged. This damage is often associated with elevated eye pressure. The damage can lead to a loss of vision. However, early treatment can prevent blindness. If you need treatment, your eye doctor may recommend medication and possibly surgery to reduce the pressure in one or both eyes.
What are the different types of surgery for glaucoma?
Surgery involves either laser treatment or making a cut in the eye to reduce the pressure in your eye. The type of surgery you have depends on the type and severity of your glaucoma and other health problems you may have.
Surgical procedures for the treatment of glaucoma are:
- Laser trabeculoplasty: The surgeon uses a laser to increase the fluid drainage from near the base of the iris (the colored part of the eye). This procedure is used to treat open-angle glaucoma and sometimes can reduce your dependency on eye drops.
- Laser iridotomy: The surgeon uses a laser to make a small hole in the iris to allow fluid to drain and reduce pressure in the eye. Most cases of angle-closure glaucoma can be treated with laser iridotomy.
- Filtering surgery: The surgeon removes a very small piece of the wall of the eye (the sclera). Fluid can then drain through the hole that this creates. The most common type of filtering procedure is called a trabeculectomy. This type of surgery is used for several types of glaucoma.
- Shunt procedure: The surgeon places a tube inside the eye. The tube helps the fluid drain from the eye. This surgery is used for several types of glaucoma.
Ask Brent Bellotte MD at West Boca Eye Center if laser trabeculoplasty may be able to help you reduce your dependency on glaucoma eye drops.