Laser surgery uses a very focused beam of light
to cut, break down, or destroy tissue. Doctors use laser
surgery when medicines fail to control vision loss caused by
glaucoma. Laser surgery is done
more often than conventional surgery for glaucoma. But repeated laser
procedures can lead to scarring.
The major advantages of laser surgery over conventional
surgery for glaucoma include:
Less injury to
The ability to do most laser procedures without the person
having to be admitted to the hospital.
The most common complication from laser surgery
for glaucoma is increased pressure within the eye. The pressure may be normal
immediately after laser surgery but then may rise sharply within 1
to 4 hours, especially in people who have
severe glaucoma. The doctor may give you eyedrop medicine before and after
surgery to prevent this complication. Other complications
A brief period of inflammation of the colored
part of the eye (iris).
Bleeding in the eye.
of the clear covering (cornea) over the iris. This does not usually last
Blockage of the
drainage angle when the cornea and the iris
Before laser surgery, medicine to numb the eye
may be applied to the eye directly (
topical anesthetic) or injected behind the
eyeball (retrobulbar anesthesia). Some people feel a sensation of heat in the
eye during laser surgery.
The main disadvantage of laser surgery for
glaucoma is that it may not always lower pressure in the eye.
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