Selective laser trabeculoplasty (or SLT) is a simple laser procedure for glaucoma that can be performed at Nepean Valley Eye Surgeons It is used to lower the intraocular pressure in suitable patients. It can be used as an alternative to regular long-term use of eye drops or as an adjunct when eye drops are not lowering the eye pressure enough.
In SLT, micro-pulses of laser energy are applied to the drainage tissue inside the eye. This laser energy is specifically designed to target the pigment cells in the drainage tissue, and causes a biological reaction and healing response in the tissue. This ultimately improves the passage of fluid through the drain and lowers the intraocular pressure. However, it may take 1-3 months for the desired effect to fully appear.
The laser is delivered via a microscope similar to those used for eye examination. Prior to the treatment, several eye drops are instilled to prepare the eye for the procedure. During the procedure, the laser will appear as pulses of light applied to the eye via a special lens that rests on the eye. The entire procedure takes less than 5 minutes to perform, and is generally painless. Mild aching sensation may seldom occur after the procedure, but invariably resolves within 24 hours.
A key aspect of SLT that makes it a particularly good treatment option for many patients is that it has a very favourable side effect profile. SLT is generally considered very safe with relatively minor occasional side effects such as transient intraocular pressure spikes that can be managed by glaucoma medications and usually resolve within 24 hours. Significant side effects of SLT are very rare.