The glaucoma specialists at Long Island Eye Surgical Care, P.C. are pleased to announce a wide variety of glaucoma treatment options all designed to lower the intraocular pressure inside the eye. If medications or previous surgeries have not worked well for you then you might consider a glaucoma second opinion eye exam by Long Island Eye Surgical Care, P.C. We are dedicated to helping our Long Island glaucoma patient's preserve their vision and to hve access to the best possible treatment options. Listed on this page you will find glaucoma procedure information regarding; trabeculectomy, Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT), eye drop medications and glaucoma shunts.
Eye drop medications lower IOP by either reducing the amount of fluid entering the eye or increasing the amount of fluid exiting the eye. There are several different kinds of glaucoma medications, and each differs in terms of both its ability to lower IOP and its potential side effects. Laser therapy often is used when medications fail to lower IOP; it is also used for patients who cannot tolerate medications due to side effects. Recent advances in laser therapy have produced lasers so safe and effective that, for some patients, laser therapy is used instead of medications. If medications and/or laser therapy fail to bring the IOP down to a safe range, surgery is available to lower IOP.
Trabeculectomy is a surgical procedure performed by an ophthalmologist used to lower eye pressure. By trying to lower the eye pressure damage can be halted from further pressure increases but that damage already done is not reversible. The trabeculectomy procedure involves the surgeon creating a tiny passageway from the inside to the outside of your eye. This helps fluid drain better from the areas it is presently not draining. A trabeculectomy can lower the pressure in your eye and help prevent more damage to the optic nerve. Trabeculectomy is more commonly used after other treatment options have not been successful or are simply not stopping the increasing IOP. (Intraocular Pressure)
Selective laser trabeculoplasty was internationally introduced in 1995, and gained FDA approval in the United States for use in March 2001. Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) has been used to treat open angle and other forms of glaucoma. This technique has the advantages of less collateral tissue damage as well as efficacy following additional future treatments.
SLT is an outpatient procedure performed onsite at Long Island Eye Surgical Care, P.C. The patient sits in a standard exam chair. For comfort during the procedure, an anesthetic drop is placed in the patient's eye. The entire procedure only takes a few moments.
SLT works by using laser light to stimulate the body's own healing response to lower the eye pressure. Using a special wavelength and energy, the laser affects only pigmented (melanin containing) cells of your eye. SLT improves the flow of fluid in the eye, which in turn lowers the eye pressure.
One of the latest developments in the treatment of glaucoma is the use of the Express Shunt. The ExPress mini-glaucoma shunt a miniature stainless steel device that offers an additional option when treating difficult glaucoma cases. The shunt is as small as a grain of rice and is a hollow drainage tube that enables the drainage system of the eye, which as been damaged by glaucoma, to be bypassed, in turn lowering intraocular pressure in the eye. Generally when medical and laser therapy for glaucoma fails, some type of filtration surgery is the next step taken. The ExPress shunt provides immediate consistent aqueous flow through a microscopic opening.
To place the shunt, a thin flap is cut into the front of the eye. Next, a hollow needle is inserted through the eye, into the anterior chamber. Then, the ExPress shunt is placed into the hole created by the needle. Once the shunt is in place, the flap is closed and secured with tiny sutures. Fluid can then freely flow out of the eye, equalizing pressure within the eye.The procedure takes about 10 minutes to perform and is an outpatient procedure, meaning the patient will return home the day of surgery. After surgery quality of life is greatly improved as patients have minimal pain and discomfort and are able to see well after surgery. With traditional surgeries to treat glaucoma, healing time can take weeks. Placement if the Express shunt causes less disruption to the eye tissue so patients are much less likely to experience problems associated with standard surgery such as drooping of the eyelids. In many cases, patients that have had ExPress Shunt surgery are able to cut down or even eliminate medications and eye drops to control intraocular pressure.