Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT)

Selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) is a type of laser surgery that is used to treat patients with glaucoma by lowering intraocular pressure. Selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) can reduce eye pressure by 20-30% (Leahy KE & White AJ, 2015), but its efficacy varies from patient to patient and depends on the patient’s eye tissue and how long they have been on medication to control intraocular pressure.

To manage intraocular pressure and stimulate aqueous humor flow.
  1. Selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) is suitable for patients with glaucoma that is not adequately managed by eye drops or who experience adverse effects from the eye drops.
  2. The effects of selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) last approximately 1-5 years and the procedure can be repeated several times without impact to the healthy tissues of the eye.
  1. After a thorough examination by the ophthalmologist, you will be given detailed instructions regarding preparing for the procedure.
  2. You will not need to fast before the procedure.
  3. Some patients will need to use prescribed eye drops before the procedure. A nurse will administer them as needed.
  1. Anesthetic eye drops will be administered before the procedure. It takes 15-30 minutes for them to take effect.
  2. Drops will be given to dilate the pupils. Some patients may experience a headache due to this.
  3. The procedure takes approximately 10 minutes per side. During the procedure, lens will be placed on your eyes to keep you from blinking.
  1. The procedure is done using anesthetic eye drops and is done at the Eye Center. Your vision will be normal after the procedure.
  2. Avoid using your eyes too much for a day or two after the procedure and wear sunglasses for a couple of days after the procedure.
  3. Do not rub your eyes for a few days after the procedure.
  4. You can wash your face and hair and wear make-up normally after the procedure.
  5. The doctor will prescribe eye drops to reduce inflammation that you will use for 7-10 days.
  1. Eye irritation, eye pain, light sensitivity, increased eye dryness.
  2. Failure of the procedure to lower intraocular pressure. Reports have shown that approximately 5% of patients will experience an increase of intraocular pressure (Leahy KE & White AJ, 2015), which can be prevented with eye drops after the procedure.
There are no travel limitations before or after the procedure.
About 70-80% of patients will experience decrease of intraocular pressure without requiring eye drops (Leahy KE & White AJ, 2015). Success depends on how long eye drops have been used to manage intraocular pressure.
What if this procedure is not performed?
Intraocular pressure will not decrease and can cause further damage to the nerves of the eyes, requiring further use of eye drops or perhaps even surgery. Please talk to your doctor about your condition and all options available for you.
If laser treatment is not as effective as expected, a trabulectomy or a glaucoma drainage device (GDD) may be recommended.

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