YAG LASER CAPSULOTOMY
YAG laser is post-cataract laser surgery. YAG laser is used to create an opening in the hazy capsule situated behind the Intraocular Lens implant (IOL) to allow you to see more clearly. During the procedure, you will see a few brief flashes of light and feel little, if any, discomfort. The procedure usually takes less than 5 minutes. You will be able to go home soon after the procedure is done. Your vision will be blurred for a short period after the procedure, but should clear in 1-2 hours. You may resume normal activities immediately. You can also anticipate some “floaters” following the procedure. These will likely resolve within a few weeks. You will be given post-laser drops to be taken for a few days.
Risks of YAG
The risks are rare but include corneal abrasion, retinal tear/detachment, inflammation, lens dislocation, and raised intraocular pressure. Rarely, the procedure may need to be repeated.
SELECTIVE LASER TRABECULOPLASTY (SLT)
SLT is a common laser procedure used to decrease intraocular pressure and treat glaucoma. Glaucoma is an eye disease in which the optic nerve is damaged, usually by high pressure in the eye. This results in decreased peripheral vision. During the procedure, you will see brief flashes of light and feel little, if any, discomfort. Either 360 degrees (full) or 180 degrees (half) of the eye will be completed. The procedure usually takes less than 10 minutes. 30-40 minutes after the treatment, your eye pressure will be measured again. If you just had 180 degrees laser, you will have a second SLT appointment to have the other 180 degrees lasered. This will be in approximately 6-8 weeks’ time. You will also be given drops after the procedure.
Risks of SLT
Your vision will probably be blurred and you may experience a mild ache for the next few hours, but it should clear. Most people still need to take glaucoma drops after the procedure. Several days or weeks after the procedure, the flow of fluid from your eyes should improve. In 50% of people, the effect of this treatment stops working in about 5 years. However, it can be repeated at that point up to two or three times.
LASER PERIPHERY IRIDOTOMY (LPI)
Laser Peripheral Iridotomy or LPI is a treatment of glaucoma. LPI is a procedure to treat narrow angles by using a laser to create an opening in the iris so that the flow of fluid can leave the eye more easily. It is performed for patients with narrow angles that may be prone to closure. Narrow angles may predispose one to an episode of angle closure glaucoma, in which pressure in the eye can rapidly increase, threatening vision and even causing blindness. During the procedure, you will see brief flashes of light and feel little, if any, discomfort. The procedure normally takes less than 5 minutes. Your vision will probably be clear in 1-2 hours. After the procedure, please keep taking your usual drops along with a new drop prescription given by your surgeon for this procedure.
Risks of LPI
The risks are rare but include pain, blurred vision, a pressure spike in the eye, inflammation and retinal detachment or tearing (very rare).
Laser Retinopexy is used to treat retinal tears by sealing the torn areas. A retinal tear is a hole that forms in the retina. If a retinal tear is left untreated, there is a risk of developing a retinal detachment. To prevent this, your doctor will seal the retina by placing laser spots around the hole. You will see brief flashes of light and feel some discomfort. It takes around two weeks for the scar tissue to develop. This scar tissue acts as a barrier to prevent the retina from detaching. Your vision will be blurred for a short period after the procedure, but should clear within a day. You may have a headache after the procedure.You can also anticipate some “floaters” following the procedure. You may also experience some light sensitivity and glare.
Risks of Retinopexy
The risks include new tears or detachment, developing cataracts, raised pressure in the eye, and vitreous hemorrhage.
If you have any questions about the risks of laser treatment, please ask your surgeon.
If your vision worsens/you lose peripheral vision or you feel any pain/discomfort after any of these laser surgeries, call our office. If it is the evening or weekend, go to the emergency department.
Information about eye conditions, disorders and treatments is presented courtesy of the Eye Physicians & Surgeons of Ontario on the Canadian Ophthalmic Society Website: http://www.cos-sco.ca