Although there is no cure as of yet for glaucoma, treatment of this degenerative eye disease has progressed to the point that it can be well managed and precious vision can be preserved. At the eye care practice of Dr. Eric Del Piero and Dr. Leland Rosenblum in Monterey, laser trabeculotomy is just one of several advanced procedures that can be used to reduce intraocular pressure by restoring the outflow of fluid. It is a safe, highly effective procedure, especially when performed by an experienced, talented eye surgeon.
What Is Laser Trabeculotomy?
Laser trabeculotomy is a minimally invasive technique in which an excimer laser is used to excise tissue with extraordinary precision, opening a canal that allows for improved outflow of intraocular fluids. This technique allows for tissue to be removed from the inner wall of the canal without causing scarring, which is the body’s natural healing response. This scarring would cause the canal, clinically known as Schlemm’s canal, to narrow again and interfere with the proper drainage of fluids. The procedure is safe and proven, has been available in Europe since 1998, and causes little to no discomfort in the patient.
The result is durable, long-term lowering of intraocular pressure in the eye accompanied by a reduced need for medical therapies.
Benefits of Laser Trabeculotomy
Laser trabeculotomy offers numerous benefits to glaucoma sufferers, including:
- It is extremely safe and effective in the treatment of open angle glaucoma.
- Many patients who undergo the procedure are able to take less medication to control their glaucoma.
- It is less invasive than most other glaucoma surgeries, both laser and non-laser.
- There is little risk of complications such as post-operative pain and discomfort.
- Both short- and long-term results tend to be good with laser trabeculotomy, as it is a non-thermal procedure and therefore does not damage tissues. When tissues are damaged, the body’s healing responses kick in, leading to scarring, which interferes with the proper drainage of intraocular fluids.
- The procedure does not compromise the structural integrity of the trabecular meshwork or Schlemm’s canal.
- Patients require fewer post-surgical visits to our practice to maintain the stability of their intraocular pressure.
- Recovery from surgery is generally rapid with minimal effect on the patient’s daily routines and quality of life.
Candidates for the Procedure
Laser trabeculotomy has proven to be safe and effective in the treatment of open-angle glaucoma, pseudoexfoliative glaucoma, and ocular hypertension. Suitable candidates for the procedure will be willing and able to follow all post-surgical instructions to the letter. Complications from the procedure are rare and mostly occur when patients do not comply with post-operative instructions.
As with most glaucoma treatments, the procedure is most effective when it is used to address glaucoma in its earliest stages. Therefore, it is important for people with family histories of glaucoma or who are otherwise at heightened risk for glaucoma to have their eyes screened regularly.
Learn More about Laser Trabeculotomy
If you or someone you love suffers from glaucoma, and you would like to learn more about the benefits of laser trabeculotomy, we encourage you to contact Monterey County Eye Associates today.