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Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT)

Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT)

Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) is a glaucoma laser procedure used to lower the pressure inside the eye. Ultimately, the SLT procedure can slow or stop the risk of disease progression.

What is eye pressure?

Aqueous humor (the nourishing fluid within the front of the eye) leaves the eye through a tiny drain called the trabecular meshwork, which is located just in front of the iris.

The trabecular meshwork is located on the side of the eye, just in front of the iris (the part which gives you eye color). Since the fluid is made just behind the iris, it must pass between the iris and the lens before leaving through the trabecular meshwork.

In the normal eye, fluid passes between the iris and lens before leaving through the trabecular meshwork in the front of the eye.

In the pupillary-block glaucoma, a type of closed-angle glaucoma, the flow of fluid between the iris and the lens is blocked and the pressure builds in the eye. As it rises, the iris is pushed forward.

The balance between how much fluid is made, and how much leaves the eyes, determines the pressure within the eye. All eyes have measurable pressure. However, when the amount of aqueous humor draining from the eye is reduced, the pressure within the eye can increase. This high pressure often leads to glaucoma.

Although many people think of glaucoma as just on single disease, in fact there are many different forms of glaucoma. Differences depend upon where in the eye the blockage to the drainage occurs. Both the border between the iris and the lens as well as the trabecular meshwork are areas where the flow of aqueous can be limited, leading to the increased eye pressure. One type of glaucoma, the flow of fluid between the iris and lens is blocked. It is called pupillary-block because the fluid is trapped behind the eye.

How is Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty performed?

SLT uses short pulses of low energy laser to target specific cells in the drainage system of the eye to stimulate improved function.