4 Types of Surgery to Treat Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a common eye disease that affects the optic nerve. Glaucoma laser treatments have become popular due to their minimal side effects. Increased intraocular pressure characterizes the condition due to inhibition of the flow of the aqueous humor. If left untreated, it can eventually lead to vision loss.
There are several methods of treating glaucoma. The most common is the eye drops for open-angle glaucoma. However, there are certain circumstances where eye drops cannot be used such as;
- If the eye drops prescribed, fail to work
- When the intraocular pressure is too high and needs immediate surgery
- If the eye drops are causing rapid heartbeat, impotence, or high blood pressure
An operation is the next procedure, and the most common are the laser treatments for glaucoma. Ideally, most surgeries aim to reduce the production of the aqueous humor and increase its flow to reduce the increased pressure within the eye. Glaucoma laser treatments are quick and safe techniques that are categorized as an outpatient procedure.
The Popular Surgeries for Treating Glaucoma
1. Laser trabeculoplasty
Laser treatment for glaucoma is used to open clogged tubes so the aqueous fluid can smoothly flow out of the eye. In the first session, the ophthalmologist will treat half the clogs and then asses the condition of the eye. If the pressure is still significant, the ophthalmologist will address the other half of the clogs in another session.
Laser trabeculoplasty is mainly for the treatment of open-angle glaucoma, and it targets the meshwork at the base of the iris. It is a safe procedure, and it can be repeated several times without causing any harm.
2. Laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI) and iridectomy
Narrow-angle glaucoma occurs when the space between the iris and the cornea is too small causing fluid and pressure to build up. This form of glaucoma laser treatment involves creating a tiny hole in the iris to allow the extra liquid to flow out and consequently lower the pressure. The iris tissue remains intact since the small hole is near the base of the iris.
Similarly, in Iridectomy, a tiny piece of the iris is removed to allow the aqueous humor to flow out of the eye.
3. Cyclodiode laser treatment
This laser treatment for glaucoma aims to destroy some of the eye tissues that produce the aqueous humor. Eventually, there will be less aqueous fluid trapped within the eye, which will prevent further increase in the intraocular pressure.
Unlike the other classes, trabeculectomy is not a laser treatment for glaucoma. It is a unique type of surgery that is done when eye drops, or laser surgeries fail to work. It involves the removal of some of the clogged eye drainage tubes to allow the aqueous fluids to flow smoothly.
There are several ways of treating glaucoma, and the ophthalmologist will recommend the best treatment plan for you. Most of the surgical procedures are simple techniques, and you will be back on your feet after a day.