SLT – Laser Trabeculoplasty

What is a laser trabeculoplasty?

Laser trabeculoplasty is a type of eye surgery that treats open-angle glaucoma.  With glaucoma, aqueous humor does not drain properly from the front of the eye.  Pressure builds in the eye, which damages the optic nerve.  If it is not treated, glaucoma leads to blindness.  Laser trabeculoplasty helps fluid drain properly again, lowering your eye pressure.

No treatment can fix damage already done to the optic nerve.  But laser trabeculoplasty can help prevent further damage from glaucoma.

In open-angle glaucoma, fluid does not flow out of the
eye as well as it should through the drainage angle.

How is laser trabeculoplasty performed?

Laser trabeculoplasty is done in an outpatient surgery center.  Your eye surgeon uses laser energy to treat your drainage angle.  This makes the drainage angle work better over time, helping to lower eye pressure.

A laser treats the trabecular meshwork so that fluid flows
out of the eye as it should through the drainage angle.

Eye Words to Know

Optic nerve: A nerve at the back of your eye that connects to your brain.  The optic nerve sends light signals to your brain so you can see.

Aqueous humor (“aqueous”): Clear liquid inside the front part of our eyes.  It nourishes the eye and keeps it inflated.  (Aqueous is different from tears, which are outside the eye.”

Drainage angle: The area of the eye where the aqueous humor drains from the front of the eye.