Treating glaucoma with lasers and surgery
Laser treatment and surgery can be as effective as drops in lowering the IOP. It is a good alternative to drops in some patients.
Glaucoma laser treatment
Selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) is a laser treatment that can reduce the IOP by 20-30%, as much as an eye drop in patients who respond well to the treatment. This can mean that laser alone will be sufficient to control the IOP without the need for daily drops for 3-5 years. SLT is painless and can be done in the clinic.
The laser modifies the normal physiological drainage pathway within the eyeball and encourages it to drain the aqueous fluid more effectively. It does not damage the eye and is a very safe & well-tolerated treatment. It is especially suitable for patients who cannot use drops for different reasons.
Some glaucoma patients will need surgical treatment for their glaucoma. This is especially the case in patients who present with advanced damage at diagnosis, or in those for whom drops and laser are not sufficient to lower the IOP.
Surgical treatments include trabeculectomy, glaucoma drainage devices or ‘Phaco +’ procedures. Here cataract surgery is undertaken along with a glaucoma micro stent or laser treatment inside the eye.
Trabeculectomy surgery is the commonest glaucoma operation performed worldwide. A new pathway for fluid to drain away from the eye is created using the patients’ own tissue. A glaucoma drainage device is used in complex cases. A small silicone tube, attached to a drainage plate, is inserted into the front chamber of the eye to allow fluid draining away via this implant.
She is a highly skilled glaucoma surgeon. She has a wealth of experience in performing cataract surgery in glaucoma patients. Especially in those who may benefit from glaucoma micro stents or laser treatment inside the eye at the time of cataract surgery. This can lead to reduced reliance on glaucoma drops after the procedure.
More about Laura Crawley
Ms Laura Crawley is a Consultant Ophthalmologist at Clinica London. Her special expertise is in treating glaucoma patients as well as patients with glaucoma and cataracts. She has a lot of experience in treating glaucoma and has published extensively in scientific journals and on medical education. She still does a lot of emergency operations at the emergency department at the Charing Cross and Western Eye Hospitals for the NHS. At Clinica London, she is responsible for glaucoma patients and glaucoma patients with cataracts. She also sees patients with general eye problems.