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SLT treatment for glaucoma PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 20 October 2009 18:29

Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty, or SLT, is a simple outpatient laser procedure that can lower eye pressures and possibly decrease or reduce their need for pressure-lowering eye drops. SLT is similar to Argon laser trabeculoplasty (ALT) in targeting the trabecular meshwork (part of the eye where the fluid naturally drains out of the eye). SLT is different from ALT however because it specifically targets the pigment-containing cells of the trabecular meshwork that clog the drain and block the passage of fluid out of the eye.

SLT uses a 532 nm "frequency doubled" YAG laser to target the pigmented cells. The laser application is only three nanoseconds (an incredibly short period of time), as opposed to a 10th of a second with ALT. This short pulse time means that the temperature rise with the laser application is minimal, with no collateral destruction of the non-pigmented cells. SLT is useful for patients whose intraocular pressure is not controlled by topical medications. In some advanced glaucoma patients, it can lower pressures significantly to protect the optic nerve and prevent the need for glaucoma surgery - surgery always carries a risk of infection or serious bleeding (although rare, such complications may affect vision).

SLT is a procedure that usually causes no discomfort, and it takes less than 5 minutes to perform. It is proving to be a very useful and safe addition to our current treatment protocols for our glaucoma patients.

For more information about SLT, please contact Mr Galloway via the contacts page.