- What is SLT?
- What are the advantages of SLT?
- How is SLT performed?
- Will I feel anything with the laser treatment?
- How often do I need to receive SLT treatments?
- How does SLT work?
- How do I know SLT has worked?
- Is SLT right for me?
- Are there other options available?
- Does SLT work for all types of Glaucoma?
- Will I still need to continue using my eyedrops following the SLT procedure?
- How long will I have to wait to experience the full treatment effect of the SLT laser?
- How long is the recovery time?
- What are the side effects?
Q: What is SLT?
A: SLT stands for “Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty”. This is a non-destructive laser procedure used to treat glaucoma by reducing the pressure in the eye.
What are the advantages of SLT?
A: There are a few key reasons why SLT may be deemed beneficial for you:
- Safe: SLT is not associated with systemic side effects or the compliance and
cost issues of medications.
- Selective: SLT utilizes selective photothermolysis to target only specific
cells, leaving the surrounding tissue intact.
- Smart: SLT stimulates the body's natural mechanisms to enhance outflow
of the fluid in your eye.
- Sensible: SLT therapy is reimbursed by Medicare and many other insurance providers, which minimizes your out-of-pocket expenses.
SLT does not rely on medicines, instead, uses an advanced laser system to target only specific cells of the eyethose containing melanin, a natural pigment. This allows for only these cells to be affected, leaving surrounding tissue in tact. As a result, your body's own healing response helps lower the pressure in your eye.
Q: How is SLT performed?
A: SLT is an outpatient procedure. You will sit in a conventional exam chair, where the doctor will use a slit lamp to examine your eye. The same slit lamp contains the SLT laser. During the procedure, the doctor will put anesthetic drops in your eye to numb it, and then place a lens on your eye for better viewing. The laser is applied to the edge of your pupil. The entire procedure only takes a few moments.
Q: Will I feel anything with the laser treatment?
A: The treatment does not cause any pain. You may see a green flash of light, and feel nothing from the laser. The lens used on your eye may cause some redness.
Q: How often do I need to receive SLT treatments?
A: One application typically lasts for many years. Depending on your individual circumstances and goals, another application may be needed at some point in the future.
Q: How does SLT work?
A: SLT works by using laser light to stimulate the body's own healing response to lower your 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 your eye pressure.
Q: How do I know SLT has worked?
A: There is no sensation associated with an SLT procedure. You will require follow up visits with your doctor to monitor the success of the treatment.
Q: Is SLT right for me?
A: Only your doctor knows what is best for your individual needs. SLT may be the right option for you, simply ask your doctor to find out more.
Q: Are there other options available?
A: There are other laser, surgery or medical options available. You should talk to your doctor to find out which approach is best for you.
Q: Does SLT work for all types of Glaucoma?
A: There are different types of glaucoma. While SLT works on most, it does not work for all. Your doctor will know the appropriate course of action.
Q: Will I still need to continue using my eyedrops following the SLT procedure?
A: Maybe. Each individual is different. Although there is a chance you can eliminate or reduce medications, SLT cannot guarantee this.
Q: How long will I have to wait to experience the full treatment effect
of the SLT laser?
A: People can respond as soon as an hour after treatment, or as much as a few months later. Continued monitoring and follow up with determine the response of therapy.
Q: How long is the recovery?
A: The doctor may treat your eye with anti-inflammatory eye drops that will be continued for a few days after the procedure. Patients have no limitations after the treatment and are able to drive home. Your doctor will schedule a follow up appointment to evaluate your results.
Q: What are the side effects?
A: Though infrequent, possible side effects may include inflammation, temporary increase in eye pressure, eye pain, or inflammation of the conjunctiva, the clear membrane that covers the white part of the eye.