Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT)
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) is used to treat open-angle glaucoma by safely and effectively reducing intraocular pressure in a single office procedure. SLT can effective supplement glaucoma medication therapies, or it can be used as a primary treatment to reduce or eliminate topical medications and their side effects.
When compared to Argon Laser Trabeculoplasty (ALT), which has historically been the standard laser procedure, SLT causes significantly less trauma to healthy cells in the trabecular meshwork.
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty: How it Works
SLT relies on short pulses of low energy laser light to target melanin-containing cells in the trabecular meshwork. The objective with SLT is to improve fluid drainage from the eye, reducing risk of rapidly increased eye pressure, damage to the optic nerve, and permanent vision loss.
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty: Benefits
Safe & Effective
SLT is safe and effective, and helps to minimize systemic adverse effects.
SLT does not require patient compliance between physician visits.
SLT provides economic benefits for both the patient and the physician. SLT is covered by Medicare and is reimbursable under CPT code 65855.
Short-pulse, low-fluence technology provides pressure-lowering effects without compliance risks or systemic side effects.
SLT selectively targets pigmented cells in the trabecular meshwork and causes no discernable damage to adjacent tissue. This is due to the specific wavelength of light along with the power and duration of the exposure.
Heat caused within the targeted cells doesn’t have time to spread to surrounding tissue because the laser pulse is so short. This minimizes thermal diffusion, coagulation, and eroding of the surrounding non-pigmented cells and tissue.
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty: The Procedure
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty does not require a surgery center, and is most often performed in a specially equipped laser room.
The Day of SLT Treatment:
Drops are first used to numb the eye; no injections, no needles. A special eyelid holder will then be placed between the eyelids to eliminate any blinking during the procedure.
Next, a special lens will be held up to the eye as a high-peak power beam of green (or red) light is aimed at the lens. This light is then reflected onto the meshwork inside the eye while the laser selectively targets melanin-containing cells to increase fluid outflow.
The entire procedure will take 10-20 minutes and no pain will be felt while it is taking place.
Following an SLT:
Shortly after the procedure eye pressure will be checked , and follow-up visits will also be required to monitor ongoing eye pressure. Eye drops may also be prescribed to help deal with any soreness or swelling inside the eye.
It may take a couple weeks for the full pressure-lowering results of this treatment to take effect. During this time, it is still necessary for some patients to continue taking medication, although many patients are eventually able to discontinue at least some of their medications.
And, while everyone heals differently, most patients resume normal activities within a few days.
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty: Concerns & Risks
The main concern with this procedure is that it’s effects may wear off over time. Serious complications resulting from SLT are extremely rare, but as with any laser procedure, it does come with some risk.
To learn more, or to find out if you are a candidate for a Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty, please Call (512) 528-1144 or Contact Us.