The use of laser-based therapeutics has revolutionized glaucoma management. Laser treatment is considered to be both safe and effective in helping control the disease. Many types of laser treatments exist:
- Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) – SLT treatment is an in-office, cold laser that is carefully and precisely applied in the eye for the treatment of certain types of open angle glaucoma. When performed by a fellowship trained glaucoma surgeon, the treatment can be effective, painless, and extremely safe. Dr. Joseph is an expert with the SLT laser and is the only glaucoma specialist in North Texas to be directly trained by the inventor and developer of the laser, Dr. Mark Latina.
- Laser Peripheral Iridotomy (LPI) – LPI treatment is usually performed in-office for closed angle glaucoma or to prevent closed angle glaucoma from developing. The “angle” in the eye contains drainage channels that are important in allowing normal fluid egress from the eye. When the angle becomes closed or starts to show signs of closing, the drainage channels are not able to function properly, which can lead to intermittent high eye pressure, progressing glaucoma, and sometimes permanent vision damage. Successful LPI treatment provides the eye with an alternate drainage channel so that the eye pressure remains stable and normal at all times
- Endocyclophotocoagulation (ECP) – ECP is a surgical laser that can be used in all stages of glaucoma. During the procedure, the eye is anesthetized and then a small incision is made to allow a laser probe into the eye. The laser is then gently applied directly to the ciliary body, the part of the eye responsible for making aqueous humor. By shrinking the ciliary body, the goal is to reduce the amount of fluid produced, thus lowering eye pressure and protecting the eye from worsening glaucoma. ECP treatment can be performed by itself, but it is often combined with other procedures such as cataract surgery or other glaucoma surgeries.
- Trans-scleral Cyclophotocoagulation (CPC) – Trans-scleral CPC is another surgical laser that is an effective tool for moderate to severe stages of glaucoma. Similar to ECP, the purpose of the laser is to shrink the ciliary body, which is the fluid producing part of the eye. Unlike ECP, the laser does not require a surgical incision into eye, and the application of the laser is based on anatomic landmarks and not direct visualization of the ciliary body.