Laser iridotomy is used to treat and prevent closed-angle glaucoma by relieving pressure within the eye. During this procedure, a laser beam is used to form a hole on the edge of the iris, allowing the fluid within to move between the front of the eye and the back of the iris. This outpatient procedure is designed to provide immediate pressure relief and also prevent the buildup of fluid pressure in the future. In some cases, patients who undergo laser iridotomy require less glaucoma medication.
A capsulotomy is a laser procedure used to create a hole or opening in the capsule that surrounds the lens of the eye. There are two types of capsulotomies – anterior and posterior. Anterior capsulotomy is used during cataract surgery to create an opening in the crystalline capsule surrounding the eye’s natural lens. Posterior capsulotomy uses a laser to address a clouded posterior capsule surrounding the natural lens in the back of the eye. When this lens is clouded, it prevents light from refracting through it and obstructs vision. With laser capsulotomy, light can once again pass through the lens and vision is restored. Posterior capsulotomy is a painless office procedure that takes just a few minutes without the use of anesthesia.
Trabeculoplasty laser surgeries are used to treat glaucoma by opening the drainage angles within the eyes. A focused beam of light creates a small opening in the trabecular meshwork of the eye, allowing for better drainage and reducing intraocular pressure. This laser surgery is an outpatient procedure that does not require hospitalization. Approximately 3 out of 4 trabeculoplasty patients experience eye relief, although most glaucoma patients must continue to take medications to manage eye pressure.