Glaucoma surgery reduces the intraocular pressure in the eyes by opening blocked drainage angles, or creating a new opening that allows fluid to drain the eye. In many cases, surgery is performed to relieve pain caused by the condition.
Glaucoma Surgery – Old Bridge, NJ
Dr. Robert Scharfman of Atlantic Medical Eye Care in Old Bridge, NJ performs glaucoma surgery as a means of treating advanced cases of glaucoma. Dr. Scharfman has done thousands of laser procedures in his office over the last 20 years.
There are two kinds of surgical procedures to treat this condition:
- Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (STL)
- Incisional surgery
The type of surgery recommended will depend on the type and severity of your glaucoma and the general health of your eye.
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty for Glaucoma
Laser surgery is generally recommended before incisional surgery, unless the eye pressure is extremely high or the optic nerve is badly damaged. During STL, a focused beam of light is used to treat the eye’s trabecular meshwork (the eye’s drainage system). This helps increase the flow of fluid from the eye.
The SLT procedure is painless and quick. Usually it is done in a matter of minutes. Afterwards one might experience a slight headache and have blurry vision. These symptoms usually resolve within a day, and most people can return to work the next day. SLT can work for up to 10 years, and if necessary the procedure can be repeated multiple times.
For patients with glaucoma who find it difficult to comply with the strict, regular schedule necessary to administer eye drops, laser surgery may be considered as a primary treatment.
Incisional Surgery for Glaucoma
In contrast, incisional surgery (also called filtering surgery) involves creating a drainage hole with the use of a small surgical tool. This new opening allows the intraocular fluid to bypass the clogged drainage canals and flow out of this artificial drainage canal.
When laser surgery does not successfully lower eye pressure, or if the pressure begins to rise again, incisional surgery may become necessary.
Glaucoma with Cataracts
For patients with glaucoma and cataracts, both problems can be treated at the same time.
During the cataract surgery, a small tube can be placed in the eye to treat glaucoma at the same time as the cataract is removed. The tube is called the Istent™.
Studies have shown that this surgical technique can eliminate or reduce the need for eye medications to treat glaucoma.
Glaucoma Surgery Results
After surgery has been performed and the intraocular pressure has stabilized, further damage to ocular structures (especially the optic nerve) may be prevented.
In rare cases, glaucoma surgery may have to be repeated. This is especially true when excessive scarring cannot be prevented or after long periods of time.
Unfortunately, glaucoma surgery does not reverse vision loss. This is why early detection of glaucoma through regular eye exams is so important.
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Your sight is precious — Dr. Scharfman and can relieve your glaucoma symptoms and walk you through all of your treatment options.