Surgical Treatment for Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye disease in which pressure inside the eye, also known as intraocular pressure, rises to a level that causes damage to the optic nerve causing vision loss or blindness. Clear eye fluid is produced by the ciliary body which enters the eye and drains out of the eye through tiny passages known as the trabecular meshwork. People with glaucoma are unable to drain the fluid effectively which results in a rise of intraocular pressure.

Some cases of glaucoma can be treated with medications. Other cases require either laser or traditional surgery to lower eye pressure. Of the two types of surgery, laser surgery is the most frequently used procedure in the treatment of glaucoma. Conventional surgery is usually performed after all other treatment methods for glaucoma, including laser surgery, have proven unsuccessful. In deciding what method of surgery to treat glaucoma, your surgeon will take into consideration your medical health and history, and the severity of your condition.

Types of Glaucoma Laser Procedures

Laser Peripheral Iridotomy (LPI) - is used to treat patients with angle-closure glaucoma. Using a laser, a small hole is made in the iris, increasing the angle between the iris and cornea to allow fluid from the eye to drain.

Argon Laser Trabeculoplasty (ALT) - is a high energy laser that is used to treat patients with primary open angle glaucoma (POAG). The trabecular passages are opened to increase fluid drainage.

Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) - is a low energy laser that targets certain areas of the trabecula without causing damage to surrounding tissue.

Nd: YAG Laser Cyclophotocoagulation (YAG CP) - is used to treat patients with severe glaucoma damage who have not responded to other treatments.

Scatter Panretinal Photocoagulation - is a laser procedure that targets abnormal blood vessels in the retina.

Types of Glaucoma Surgical Procedures

Trabeculectomy - creates a new drainage passage in the sclera, the white part of the eye, resulting in a new opening that allows the fluid to drain and enter the bloodstream.

Glaucoma drainage implant - a thin, flexible tube, known as a shunt, is inserted into the eye to facilitate drainage.

Peripheral Iridectomy - removes a small section of the iris to allow for drainage.

Canaloplasty - is a procedure used for patients with open-angle glaucoma. It uses either a microcatheter or thin, flexible tube to enlarge the drainage canal.

Goiniotomy - is used in the treatment of congenital glaucoma. An incision is made into the cornea to cut the trabecula, allowing for the drainage of fluid from the eye.

Trabeculotomy - is used in the treatment of congenital glaucoma. An incision is made into the outer portion of the eye to the trabecula, allowing for the drainage of fluid from the eye.

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