Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT)
SLT laser (acronym for Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty) is a laser device used to lower intraocular pressure in glaucoma. When drugs no longer have the desired effect or cause significant side effects, you can use this additional treatment.
THE SLT TREATMENT is a very safe and effective laser-based treatment that easily reduces the intraocular pressure in the majority of glaucoma patients. It selectively stimulates the cells of the trabecular meshwork (the area that is responsible for the escape of aqueous humour from the eye), while leaving the surrounding tissue intact. The effect of this selective laser stimulation is to increase the permeability of the trabecular meshwork to aqueous humour, resulting in decreased intraocular pressure.
Advantages of SLT
Safe: It is not associated with systemic or local side effects caused by hypotonic medications. The patient is not required to constantly follow the prescribed treatment: once performed, the laser keeps acting alone in time.
Selective: SLT uses a selective photothermolysis for specific cells, leaving the surrounding tissue intact. The laser is applied in an area which has no visual function, so that it cannot in any way result in visual damage.
Clever: SLT stimulates the body’s natural mechanisms to improve the outflow of fluid into the eye.
Easy: the procedure is quick (a few minutes), outpatient and free of any pain or discomfort.
SLT is performed in the doctor’s office and takes only minutes. Before the procedure the eye is prepared with the eyedrops. The laser is applied through a regular medical microscope (slit lamp), similar to that used for eye examinations.
Eye pressure can drop from the day following the treatment. The physician can treat the eye with anti-inflammatory eyedrops for a few days after the procedure. Patients have no limitations after the procedure and are perfectly able to move and drive. A follow-up appointment will be arranged to allow the physician to evaluate the results.
SLT is a very effective treatment that can be applied for many different types and at different stages of glaucoma.
Who can be treated?
SLT is a treatment option for most patients. Thanks to its non-destructive nature, unlike the conventional laser therapy, it can be used for the following conditions: primary open-angle glaucoma, ocular hypertension, normal-tension glaucoma, juvenile glaucoma, pseudophakic glaucoma, pigment dispersion syndrome (pigmentary glaucoma).
SLT is an extremely effective treatment option to START a glaucoma therapy, immediately after the diagnosis and also before beginning the administration of eyedrops. After SLT, the great advantage for the patient is that he is no longer obliged to use eyedrops and can lead a normal life. It is extremely important, however, that he does not forget to undergo regular checks to assess the state of his disease. Glaucoma remains, nonetheless, a chronic disease. SLT lowers blood pressure, but does not eliminate glaucoma.
Want to learn more?