Iridotomy

  • This laser procedure is used in patients with angle-closure glaucoma.

  • The laser may be performed with an argon or YAG laser. Both are available on-site in the Glaucoma Center.

  • In acute glaucoma, fluid cannot circulate freely in the eye. The laser makes a small opening in the iris or colored portion of the eye. In this way, fluid can circulate from behind the iris to the trabecular meshwork and out of the eye. The opening is permanent.

  • This is frequently performed as an emergency procedure.

  • In some patients, there is an increased risk of acute glaucoma as detected by gonioscopy on a routine exam. Such patients are termed "occludable." Iridotomy is used as a prophylactic therapy to prevent a future episode of acute glaucoma.

  • Like trabeculoplasty, the procedure is pain-free. Side effects include transient blurred vision, red eye, and a spike in eye pressure. Although the laser is performed in a manner of five or ten minutes, patients frequently stay in the Center for two hours. Recovery is immediate.

  • Rarely, the opening will close and the opening must be revised.
Last updated by Webmaster on June 22, 2009

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