Iridotomy is a YAG laser treatment performed on the iris (the colored part of the eye surrounding the pupil). Iridotomy involves creating a small hole in the periphery of the iris with a laser light beam, allowing the outflow of aqueous humor from the posterior chamber of the eye to the anterior chamber.
The hole is small, invisible and does not cause visual disturbances. The iridotomy procedure is painless and completely safe.
Iridotomy is indicated in people who have been diagnosed with:
- acute angle-closure glaucoma
- closed-angle glaucoma,
- anatomical predisposition angle closure,
- pigmentary glaucoma.
The flow of aqueous humor can be obstructed in glaucoma of all types. In extreme cases, complete blockage of the outflow can lead to acute angle-closure glaucoma, which can even result in permanent loss of vision.
In diseases such as pigmentary glaucoma or pigment dispersion syndrome, laser iridotomy can restore the normal configuration of the iris, resulting in reduced pigment release and lower intraocular pressure.
Laser iridotomy is painless and safe. The only contraindication is lack of adequate corneal translucency. The procedure takes about 5 minutes.
- 3-7 days before the iridotomy procedure patients should discontinue medications containing acetylsalicylic acid and other blood thinners. These are medications such as: Acard, Aspiryna, Aspro C, Asprocol, Polopiryna, Rhonal, Ring N, Solucytel, Thomapyrin.
- Before the procedure, we test the patient’s visual acuity and measure intraocular pressure.
- The procedure is performed under local anesthesia after administration of anesthetic drops.
- The doctor uses a laser to make a small hole or several holes in the peripheral part of the iris.
- The patient must sit still during the procedure.
- After the procedure, we perform a control measurement of intraocular pressure.
- After the procedure, the patient might be prescribed drops.
- Important! After the procedure the patient must not drive.
- Usually the formed passage is permanent and it lasts for life, in rare cases the procedure might need to be repeated.
What exactly is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a disease in which the pressure inside the eyeball increases and as a consequence the optic nerve gets damaged. The primary symptom of glaucoma is visual field loss. In extreme cases untreated glaucoma can lead to blindness.
The exact cause of glaucoma has not been identified. As we do not know what causes glaucoma, we treat the symptoms, i.e. elevated intraocular pressure or optic nerve disorders.
There are two types of glaucoma, which are related to the anatomical structure of the eyeball (and in particular, the trabecular meshwork):
- closed-angle glaucoma
- open-angle glaucoma
Intraocular pressure can be lowered either pharmacologically or surgically. In surgical treatment, less invasive laser procedures are used first.