Understanding Glaucoma Surgery

Glaucoma Surgery is used for glaucoma patients when eye drop medications have not proven to be sufficient at reducing intraocular pressure to a safe level. This surgery can help lower intraocular pressure, but it cannot reverse vision loss that has already occurred. Glaucoma surgery can be performed via laser surgery or via traditional surgery. Both types of surgery allow the ocular fluid to drain out of the eye more easily, lowering the intraocular pressure. The type of surgery your ophthalmologist recommends depends on the type and severity of your glaucoma and the general health of your eye.

Traditional surgery involves making a very small incision into the eye’s drainage system. This creates new channels for more normal flow of ocular fluid. This is typically performed in a same day surgery center on an outpatient basis. Although some patients may experience a slight stinging sensation, this procedure is usually painless. When the procedure is over, patients may experience blurred vision and some irritation. Normal activities, such as driving and work, may be resumed the next day.

Laser treatments are continuing to gain popularity for treating Glaucoma. SLT (Selective Laser Trabeculoplasy) uses microscopic laser light to “open” the clogged drains of the eye. Many believe SLT is one of the most significant and safest advances in the treatment of Glaucoma. SLT is performed in the ophthalmologist’s office with the patient seated in the exam chair. There are no needles or knives involved. It takes only a few minutes and you will be allowed to go home immediately after SLT laser treatment. There are no restrictions or limitation on your activities following SLT treatment.

There are many benefits of SLT:

  • Simple, safe, and effective for most glaucoma treatments; has no side-effects.
  • FDA approved; been safely used in Europe for more than 10 years.
  • Does not involve needles or knives. Reduces any chance for bleeding, infection, or blindness. Risks and complications are very rare.
  • Only takes minutes to perform in the ophthalmologists’ office for added convenience.
  • No restrictions or limitations after the SLT treatment.
  • Ideal for patients, who want to get off their glaucoma medicines, cannot take them, cannot afford them, or cannot tolerate their side-effects.
  • Covered by almost every insurance company, including Medicare

Learn more: information regarding Glaucoma Surgery