Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery
Minimally invasive glaucoma surgeries (MIGS) are a group of alternative glaucoma operations. They have fewer side effects and complications than traditional glaucoma treatments but perform the same function.
All glaucoma treatments aim to reduce the intraocular pressure (IOP) in your eyes. When you have glaucoma, the pressure in your eyes becomes too high, causing damage to the optic nerve.
Insufficient drainage of fluid from your eyes causes pressure to build in your eyes. Increased IOP can damage your optic nerve and cause vision loss if you don’t reduce it in time.
The surgeon at Dupage Eye Associates performs a MIGS procedure called SLT. This is only one of many MIGS procedures that glaucoma patients may benefit from.
What Is SLT?
SLT, or selective laser trabeculoplasty, is a laser MIGS procedure for patients with primary or secondary open-angle glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma means the drainage networks in the front of your eyes are open and functioning.
The goal of SLT is to lower the pressure in your eye to reduce or prevent damage to your optic nerve. Optic nerve damage can cause vision loss if the pressure persists for too long.
How Does SLT Work?
SLT uses a cold laser to stimulate chemical and biological reactions in the tissues in your drainage network. These reactions create improved drainage of fluid from your eye.
The laser is cold because it produces lower heat energy absorption than other lasers. Light from a cold laser gets selectively absorbed by pigment connective tissue in your eye. No other eye tissue absorbs this light.
Selective light absorption results in minimal heat energy absorption. This produces minimal inflammation, pain, and scar tissue. That’s why SLT is a gentle, minimally invasive procedure.
Is SLT Right For Me?
SLT is a procedure that is only for patients with open-angle glaucoma. If you have this type of glaucoma and need to lower your IOP, SLT could be an excellent option for you. Your eye doctor will determine if SLT is the best treatment.
If you do not have this type of glaucoma, other MIGS treatments are available for different conditions. You can discuss these with your eye doctor.
Since SLT and other MIGS procedures are FDA-approved, Medicare and medical insurance cover them.
How Long Do The Effects of SLT Last?
If your SLT procedure is effective, the positive effects should last for one to five years. In some cases, SLT can manage IOP for more than five years.
If your results last for a year or less, then your SLT procedure is not considered successful. There are other glaucoma treatment options if your SLT procedure is unsuccessful.
What if SLT Doesn’t Work For Me?
If SLT is not successful for you, you can still receive other glaucoma treatments. These alternatives include traditional glaucoma surgeries and medications and other MIGS treatments. Your eye doctor will help you find the best treatment or combination of treatments to reduce your IOP.
Is SLT a Cure For Open-Angle Glaucoma?
It is important to remember that SLT or other glaucoma treatments are not cures for glaucoma. There is no cure for glaucoma.
The best that you and your eye doctor can do is manage your symptoms and work on reducing your eye pressure. SLT is just one treatment for glaucoma.
Some people can manage their glaucoma with one treatment. Others need more than one to keep their IOP at a safe level.
No two patients are the same, and the eye doctor at Dupage Eye Associates knows this. We work with you to find the best treatment or combination of treatments to keep your eyesight healthy.
Schedule an appointment with Dupage Eye Associates in Downers Grove, to discuss the proper glaucoma treatment for you!