What is selective laser trabeculoplasty?
Selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) is a state-of-the-art procedure that is performed to treat glaucoma. Glaucoma is a common eye condition that causes abnormal pressure buildup in the eye, which can impair vision and even lead to blindness if left untreated. SLT uses advanced laser technology to decrease eye pressure by improving how fluid drains from the eye. Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center in Vestavia Hills, AL, is pleased to offer modern eye care to our local patients. If you or your loved one have been recently diagnosed with glaucoma or have been battling the disease for years, reach out to our practice today. Board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Young H. Choi can meet with you to discuss all of your treatment options and determine if SLT is right for you.
What Are The Benefits Of Laser Trabeculoplasty?
Dr. Choi's experience in performing laser trabeculoplasty offers an effective solution for managing glaucoma, especially for our patients in Birmingham, AL. This quick and easy outpatient procedure is a game-changer in eye care, with multiple benefits that significantly enhance the quality of life for individuals suffering from this condition. Here’s a closer look at the advantages of undergoing Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) with Dr. Choi:
- Reduces IOP (intraocular pressure)
- Does not damage trabecular meshwork
- Can be repeated, if necessary
- Reduces the need for daily eye drops and medications
- Reduces the need for more invasive eye surgery
- Can dramatically slow the progression of macular degeneration
- Can reduce the likelihood of developing cataracts
- Quick, easy outpatient procedure
Laser Trabeculoplasty Reviews
"I 💯 recommend Dr. Choi for Cataract Eye Surgery, LASIK, SMILE, YAG, SLT, and Goniatomy - among other clinical procedures offered. He and his staff are extremely friendly and accommodating (especially during COVID-19) Not to mention, it is the nicest surgical facility I have ever seen!"- T.H. / Google / Jul 22, 2020
Who is a good candidate for SLT?
Thanks to cutting-edge technology, several laser treatments are available to treat glaucoma at our Vestavia Hills, AL office. If you are considering selective laser trabeculoplasty, it's essential to meet with a highly trained ophthalmologist, like Dr. Choi to see if it's a good fit for your needs. During your initial consultation, Dr. Choi will examine your eyes and review your general medical history to confirm your glaucoma diagnosis. We then discuss whether you are an ideal candidate for SLT or if another laser surgery would be a better option. Our goal is to help patients improve their eye health and achieve the clearest vision possible. Candidates for laser trabeculoplasty are generally individuals who meet the following criteria:
Open-angle glaucoma diagnosis: Laser trabeculoplasty is mainly indicated for open-angle glaucoma, which is the most common form of the disease. It is not typically used for other types of glaucoma, such as angle-closure glaucoma.
Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP): Individuals with elevated IOP that poses a risk to the optic nerve and vision are potential candidates for laser trabeculoplasty. The target IOP level may vary depending on the severity of the disease and the patient's specific circumstances.
Uncontrolled IOP with medications: Laser trabeculoplasty is often considered when the use of topical eye drops or oral medications does not effectively control IOP or causes intolerable side effects. It can be used as an alternative or adjunct to medications.
How is SLT performed?
Selective laser trabeculoplasty is an outpatient procedure that is performed on-site at our facility within one of our Class-A operating rooms. Dr. Choi begins by using eye drops to numb the eye so you can feel as comfortable as possible. An injection may be given to prevent the eye from moving during surgery. Next, a special contact lens will be placed over the eye to help focus and deliver the laser precisely on the target area. Patients will feel a bit of pressure during surgery, but other than that, SLT does not cause pain. The laser creates microscopic changes to the trabecular meshwork, which is the drainage system of the eye. Fluid needs to be able to drain properly from the eye to maintain normal eye pressure.
How long is recovery after SLT?
Once your procedure near Birmingham, AL is complete, you will be free to go home but should plan to take the rest of the day off from work or school. Patients can expect their vision to be blurry for the first 24 hours after surgery, and optimal healing can take 3 – 6 weeks. Like with any surgery, there are risks and potential side effects. Although mild, the most common complications include eye pain, swelling, sensitivity to light, cloudiness of the cornea, and the possible development of scar tissue. Dr. Choi can provide ways to make recovery more comfortable, including eye drops and prescription medications. Call a member of our team if side effects last longer than expected. SLT has about an 80% success rate, and results can last up to five years.
Laser trabeculoplasty FAQs
Does selective laser trabeculoplasty hurt?
No, it doesn't. Before he begins, Dr. Choi will completely numb your eyes with anesthetic drops — so you will not feel anything at all. If you have any questions about pain management, feel free to ask before your procedure begins.
How long does SLT take?
SLT (selective laser trabeculoplasty) is a relatively brief procedure at our Vestavia Hills, AL office. It is performed as an outpatient procedure that only takes a few minutes for each eye. You should be able to fit this procedure into even the busiest of lifestyles.
How much does laser trabeculoplasty cost?
Since SLT is an FDA-approved treatment for glaucoma and may be deemed medically necessary, it might be covered in part by insurance. Our office can contact your provider to review your benefits and determine your coverage. We can also help estimate your costs and go over all of your payment options. Our office proudly accepts CareCredit® and can work with you to create a billing plan that helps make surgery more affordable.
Can I watch TV after laser trabeculoplasty?
You can watch TV after SLT, but you will need to rest your eyes during the day. Be sure to sit at a safe distance when watching TV. We recommend taking a break from all screens (including TV, computer, and phone) for at least 10 minutes every hour. Your aftercare guidelines may vary based on your eye health and the extent of your procedure. Be sure to follow all of Dr. Choi's instructions for eye care after SLT to ensure the best results.
I have glaucoma in my family history. Should I get SLT?
If glaucoma runs in your family, it's important to be aware of the symptoms and get regular eye exams to monitor potential changes in your vision. Patients who have been diagnosed with glaucoma should visit a board-certified ophthalmologist to determine the best treatment for their eyes. It may be SLT or another solution. Dr. Choi can meet with you and discuss all of your options so you can make a decision that's right for you.
Is SLT safe?
While there is a very small risk (only 5%) of pressure spiking after the procedure, SLT is considered very safe and effective. If a spike in pressure occurs, it is typically easily managed with glaucoma medications and usually resolves after about 24 hours.
How long does selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) last?
Most patients can expect the results and benefits of their SLT treatment to last between 1 – 5 years and longer in some cases. An SLT procedure can be repeated if the effects wear off.
If you are tired of using eye drops to treat your glaucoma and desire a long-term solution, selective laser trabeculoplasty may be an option. Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center offers several laser surgeries that can significantly improve glaucoma. If you live in Vestavia Hills or Birmingham, AL, reach out to our office today to learn more about your options. We look forward to serving you.
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