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Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT)

SLT is an advanced type of laser treatment to manage patients with open-angle glaucoma.  Instead of generally burning tissue as in ALT, SLT selectively stimulates or changes only specified pigmented cells to activate increased fluid drainage.

SLT for Glaucoma

Laser Irradiation

Both SLT and ALT produce equivalent drops in IOP; however, the more gentle SLT procedure does not have the associated danger to other tissues and adverse scarring effects.  For this reason, where ALT is limited, SLT may potentially be repeated. SLT has also been found to be effective when ALT and other forms of medical treatment have failed.

With SLT, selective targeting of pigmented cells (the orange cells at left) located in the trabecular meshwork stimulates an increase in the drainage of aqueous humor to control glaucoma.

Benefits of SLT

  • SLT results in a biological response that increases aqueous drainage, and reduces IOP without burning tissue
  • NO adverse reactions from medications
  • NO adverse scarring of trabecular meshwork
  • May reduce the need for lifelong use of expensive eye drops and other medications
  • May reduce or eliminate the trouble of always having to take glaucoma medications

How SLT is performed

SLT is usually performed in the office and only takes bout 15-20 minutes. Prior to the procedure, eye drops will be given to prepare the eye for treatment. The laser applications are made through a special microscope, similar to the one used for eye examination. About 2 hours of office time should be planned so the IOP can be checked after the eye is treated.

What should be expected after SLT treatment

The IOP should drop significantly in as quickly as a day or more of having SLT performed. The doctor may treat the eye with anti-inflammatory eye drops that will be continued for 4-7 days after the procedure. Most patients will have to return for follow-up visits to recheck the treated eye.

Unlike some glaucoma medications, there are no incidences of allergy or systemic side effects with SLT. Complications are minimal but may include inflammation temporary increase in IOP, conjunctivitis, or eye pain. For more information about SLT and how it may benefit you, please ask the doctor.


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