Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty

Selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) is a procedure that can be used instead of, or in addition to, glaucoma medications in patients with open-angle glaucoma. The surgeon applies low energy laser light to the internal drain of the eye, also known as the trabecular meshwork. The light is absorbed by the cells lining the trabecular meshwork, which makes the drain work more efficiently at removing fluid from the eye. This results in lower pressures and less dependence on antiglaucoma medications.


SLT is for those

  • who have been diagnosed with open-angle glaucoma 

  • whose doctor has determined that SLT is appropriate for controlling their intraocular pressure

What to expect on procedure day

The trabeculoplasty procedure is performed in our office. Upon arrival, your eye will be numbed with an anesthetic eyedrop. No injections will be necessary. A special contact lens will be placed on your eye that will allow your surgeon to focus the laser light on the target tissue. The procedure usually takes about five to ten minutes and it is usually painless, although sometimes patients report feeling a bit of pressure. After the procedure, the contact lens will be removed from your eye and your eye will be rinsed with saline. Your vision might remain blurred for up to fifteen minutes after the procedure. You will then be able to leave the office and resume your normal activities. Most patients experience little to no discomfort in the hours and days following surgery.

SLT is a generally safe procedure, and when it works well, it reduces the intraocular pressure enough that patients can discontinue some or all of their glaucoma medications. However, some patients achieve less than ideal pressure-lowering results and have to continue taking their glaucoma medications. Even when the procedure works well initially, the effect may wear off over several years, in which case the procedure might need to be repeated.