Indications. The laser iridotomy surgery is used for patients with narrow angle glaucoma. The laser is utilized to open a small hole on the iris (color part of the eyes). This extra hole will maintain the anterior chamber of the eye open avoiding acute angle closure glaucoma, which is a blinding disease. This type of laser surgery will be effective in most of the patients but sometimes will need to be followed by cataract surgery. You may have to continue using some drops that were given prior to the laser. This is not a cure for the narrow angle glaucoma, but it will keep your vision safe until the cataract can be removed.
Procedure. The procedure may be performed in one or two trips to the laser center. The laser machine is similar to the examination microscope that the ophthalmologist uses at each visit to look into your eyes. The laser itself makes little noise and flashes a light about as bright as the flash on a camera. Nearly all patients find the procedure comfortable and pain free. The procedure generally takes from 10 to 20 minutes.
Medications. You may need to use drops both before and after the laser treatment. As the pressure in the eye may temporarily go up after the laser treatment. If the pressure does elevate, you may need additional medicines to lower the pressure, which will be administered in the office. Rarely, the pressure in the eye could elevate to a level that might require surgery in the operating room to relieve the glaucoma. You will need to use drops after the laser to help the eye heal correctly. You will probably use the new drops for approximately one week. In most cases you will be asked to continue your other glaucoma medications after the laser surgery. The doctor will notify you if there are exceptions to continuing your medications.
Risks and complications. Glaucoma laser surgery may be followed by complications. Most patients notice some blurring of their vision after laser surgery. This generally clears within a few hours. The chance of your vision being permanently affected by this laser is very, very small. Although rare and unusual, there may be bleeding within the eye, inflammation, cataract and increase in the pressure in the eye requiring different and more extensive treatment. There is also a small change of retinal detachment, your eyes will be dilated about 2-3 weeks after the procedure to make sure the retina is well and attached. Symptoms of retinal detachment includes flashes of light, floaters and blurry vision.
Patient consent. Not every conceivable complication could be covered in this form and I understand that no warranty or guarantee has been made to me regarding the result of the proposed laser surgery. I have read and understand the consent form, my questions have been answered and I authorize my surgeon to proceed with the operation.