Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) is a relatively new laser treatment for open-angle glaucoma. SLT uses short pulses of low energy laser light to target melanin-containing cells in a network of tiny channels, called the trabecular meshwork. The objective of the surgery is to help fluids drain out of the eye, reducing intra-ocular pressure that can cause damage to the optic nerve and loss of vision.
The selective technique is much less traumatic to the eye than Argon Laser Trabeculoplasty (ALT), which has been the standard laser procedure. ALT can cause tissue destruction and scarring of healthy cells in the trabecular meshwork structure. SLT reduces intra-ocular pressure without this risk. SLT can be used to effectively treat some patients who could not benefit from ALT. This includes patients who have already been treated with ALT.
Although your doctor may suggest laser surgery at any time, it is often performed after trying to control intra-ocular pressure with medicines. In many cases, you will need to keep taking glaucoma drugs even after laser surgery.
SLT is for those:
- who have been diagnosed with glaucoma
- whose doctor has determined that SLT is appropriate for controlling their intra-ocular pressure
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty is the latest advancement in the treatment of chronic open angle glaucoma. SLT (Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty) represents perhaps the single most dramatic advancement in glaucoma treatment in the past 25 years. We can now offer our glaucoma patients a painless, repeatable treatment that can be performed in the office in just a few minutes with the potential of immediate and longlasting
results. It is now possible to employ this “cold”, gentle laser earlier in the course of glaucoma and, in many cases, as the initial treatment as opposed to the use of drops.
Additionally, those who have been treated in the past with the traditional argon laser can now be retreated for additional pressure lowering results.
The SLT laser, a new, painless “cold” laser, can be used to
treat essentially any patient with open angle glaucoma!
The NEW SLT Laser
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty ( SLT ) is a newer, safer and more effective cold laser treatment for glaucoma that gives doctors and patients an alternative to eye drop medications and to the argon laser. The SLT laser causes no burning and therefore no scarring to the eye. It is painless, just as effective as drops, and unlike the argon laser, is repeatable! It is a gentle, easily tolerated, ten-minute procedure that can be used as a first- or second-line therapy.
The SLT laser works by selectively breaking up the pigmented cells that are scattered throughout the honey-combed drainage system in the eye. Drainage “pores” result which allows the aqueous fluid to pass through the channels more easily. Because there is no burning or scarring and because this treatment affects just a percentage of these pigmented cells, this treatment can be repeated if the pressures begin to go up.
The important thing about SLT is that it can reduce and even eliminate the number of drops that glaucoma patients take. The SLT laser eliminates the worry of drop “schedules”, the high costs of prescriptions, and local and systemic side effects. Patients will also no longer need to worry if they got too little or too many drops in their eyes.
Who’s eligible? Newly diagnosed glaucoma patients who don’t want to take drops; existing glaucoma patients who are using one or more drops and would like to reduce or eliminate them altogether; long-standing glaucoma patients who have been treated with the argon laser and whose pressures are rising.