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.
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 coloured
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
The doctor will numb your eye before laser surgery. Usually this is done by giving you eyedrops (topical anesthetic). During laser surgery, some people feel discomfort, such as pressure in their eye. How it feels depends on what kind
of laser is used.
The main disadvantage of laser surgery for
glaucoma is that it may not always lower pressure in the eye.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerChristopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology