Lighting the Way for Glaucoma Sufferers
How does the Endolaser treat glaucoma?
The Endocyclophotocoagulation procedure or ECP uses a gentle form of light energy to decrease the fluid production and pressure in the eye. The ECP is performed at the time of cataract surgery and the surgeon uses the same incisions for both procedures.
First, the surgeon makes a small self-sealing incision through the cornea of the eye (the clear window on the eye’s surface). The eye’s fluid is replaced with a jelly-like material that stabilizes and protects the delicate eye tissues. Next, the surgeon inserts a tiny fiberoptic probe, about the diameter of the wire in a paper clip, into the eye. This probe is connected to a sophisticated video camera that allows the surgeon to see in a highly magnified manner the delicate microscopic structures inside the eye. Under direct observation, the surgeon applies gentle laser light energy to the ciliary processes, structures found behind the iris of the eye and responsible for the eye’s fluid production. This light therapy is applied to individual ciliary processes. The entire procedure is completely painless and can be performed in minutes. Once the therapy is completed the fiberoptic probe is removed from the eye, the clear jelly-like material is evacuated from the eye and the procedure is completed. The incision is so small that it seals automatically and requires no stitches.
What can I expect from the Endolaser procedure?
The Endolaser procedure is both safe and painless. In over fifteen years of routine use of the Endolaser at our center we know that it offers an exciting highly effective and proven method for controlling glaucoma.
On the basis of our extensive experience with the Endolaser we know that most patients undergoing Endolaser experience a marked decrease in their eye pressure and are sometimes able to dramatically reduce the number of glaucoma medications they take. In fact, we have found that twice as many patients demonstrate a pressure in the desired target range after the laser surgery compared to before surgery.
In many cases, we have been able reduce or eliminate the need for glaucoma medications. This is especially helpful in those patients experiencing side effects such as upset stomach, appetite loss, decreased night vision or eye irritation. Remarkably, due to the effectiveness of this procedure, one in four patients are able to stop all their glaucoma medications entirely.