Glaucoma Laser Treatment: Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty or SLT is clinically proven to treat glaucoma. It safely and effectively reduces eye pressure by increasing the drainage of fluid from the eye. SLT causes a biological response and does not burn or scar the drain (or trabecular meshwork) of the eye.
It can be repeated if necessary. If successful, it may reduce the need for eye drops or other medications used to lower your eye pressure. The SLT procedure has the potential of saving you thousands in prescription medication costs.
Can I drive after the procedure?
Your driving ability will not be affected if only one eye is involved. You can drive yourself home from the appointment after the SLT procedure.
However, there are times when both eyes undergo treatment and in this case you cannot drive yourself home.
Where is SLT performed?
The SLT procedure is performed at the Spinak Medical Eye Center’s Pearl River office. Overall, the office visit for SLT can last approximately 30 minutes to an hour, but the actual procedure often takes just a few minutes.
How do I prepare for SLT Treatment?
- Eat and drink as you like.
- Continue taking your glaucoma drops, pills and all other medications.
- At the office, your vision and pressure will be checked.
What happens during SLT?
- During the procedure, you will be seated at the laser instrument and a drop of anesthetic will be placed in your eye.
- A special lens will be placed on the eye and approximately 50-100 laser spots will be placed along your eye’s drain. Only that section of your eye will be effected by the laser, no other.
- You may experience some tingling or slight stinging. This is perfectly natural. You will also see bright flashes of light.
- The procedure takes approximately 10 minutes.
What happens after SLT?
- After the procedure, you will be asked to stay in the waiting room for 30 minutes, at which time your eye pressure will be checked.
- If your eye pressure temporarily increases, medication often addresses the issue.
- You may experience some slight blurring and mild eye irritation. This is normal and should be temporary.
- You will not need an eye patch.
- You can resume your usual activities. In some cases, patients may experience a scratchy sensation in their eye. If so, lie down and apply a cold compress for about 1 hour. The sensation should subside. If not, contact your Spinak Medical Eye Center ophthalmologist.
- Please continue all glaucoma medications you were using before the laser treatment and any additional drops your doctor may ask you to use. Some patients use anti-inflammatory drops for 3-5 days after treatment.
- Follow-up visits will be scheduled approximately 2 weeks after treatment and again after three months. It may take several months for the treatment to be fully effective. Also be aware that your doctor may wish to perform the same laser treatment on the other half of the drainage area if only a partial drain area was originally treated.
- Glaucoma medication often needs to be continued even after successful treatment.
At Spinak Medical Eye Center, our goal is to provide you with the best possible care. Ask your questions and feel free to bring someone with you to the consultations and follow-up visits. Often, it takes the anxiety away because you have someone else available to listen and ask questions.