Do you suffer from glaucoma and need relief? Have you tried prescription eye drops only to be disappointed with the results? Glaucoma Laser Surgery might be the right option for you. Keep reading to learn about this procedure and how it could give you the eye relief you need.
Table of Contents
What Is Glaucoma Laser Surgery?
Glaucoma is an eye condition that occurs when pressure builds up in the eye and damages the optic nerve. The pressure build-up is a result of poor fluid drainage from the eye. Glaucoma is currently the second leading cause of blindness in the world today, so it’s an extremely common—yet treatable—condition.
Glaucoma Laser Surgery—also known as Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT)—is an eye surgery that uses laser energy to reduce intraocular pressure caused by glaucoma. If you suffer from glaucoma and need relief, SLT could be the right option for you.
Glaucoma Treatment Options
Prescription eye drops are the first line of defense when treating glaucoma. However, if eye drops aren’t effective or cause unexpected side effects, laser surgery is an effective alternative. In surgery, your doctor will apply a laser to the drainage tissue to help the fluid drain better. This improved drainage will reduce the intraocular pressure that causes glaucoma.
The benefits of SLT generally last between one and five years, sometimes longer. While this surgery is about as effective as glaucoma medication, it only has to be done every one to five years as opposed to applying drops every day. SLT can be more effective in patients who already use glaucoma medication because it adds a second layer of treatment.
Laser Trabeculoplasty FAQs
Check out the four most common questions we get from patients about STL surgery.
What’s the Average Price for Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty?
Since SLT is such a common glaucoma treatment, both Medicare and medical insurance cover the costs of the procedure. While the average STL procedure in the U.S. costs around $2,000, that amount will vary for patients without insurance or who have a copay. If you’re considering SLT, speak with your insurance provider and a surgeon before making a decision.
What Can I Expect With Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty?
After undergoing SLT surgery, you can expect to see results one to three months after the procedure. If you don’t see results within this time period, consult your surgeon. If you don’t see the results you want or they wear off over time—which will happen naturally—you can always get the surgery again for better results. However, the glaucoma surgery will eventually lose its effects the more times you get it.
What Will My Post-Surgery Experience Be Like?
Most patients take a month to recover fully from SLT surgery, give or take a couple of weeks. Here’s what you can expect after having surgery.
- Minor discomfort
- Blurry vision
Tips to help recover from Glaucoma Laser Surgery
- Don’t drive a vehicle
- Get plenty of rest
- Don’t touch your eyes
- Use sunglasses when outside
- Follow all your doctor’s instructions
Does Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty Have Any Side Effects or Complications?
With every surgery comes risks. The most common side effects for SLT include redness, soreness, and blurry vision. You can easily treat these problems with eye drops. More serious—but less common—side effects include inflammation and returning intraocular pressure. If you experience either of these side effects after surgery, consult your doctor.
Find Relief at Cleveland Eye Clinic
If you’re considering Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty to correct your glaucoma, come see the vision experts at Cleveland Eye Clinic. Our doctors are leaders in eye care education and use cutting-edge technology to provide patients with the best results. If you want to learn more about glaucoma and available treatment options, check out our website. Don’t wait to get the eye relief you need. Schedule an appointment today.