Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) is a new laser treatment for elevated eye pressure and glaucoma and is now available to private patients in Bristol and the South West.
The interaction between the laser light energy and the meshwork tissue at the periphery of the cornea where fluid leaves the eye, appears to rejuvenate and improve the function of the cells so that fluid drains away more easily, lowering the pressure.
SLT may allow many patients with moderately elevated eye pressure to avoid or delay the need for daily eye drop treatment, especially where eye pressure is not particularly high before treatment. For patients taking multiple eye drops it may allow withdrawal of one or more types and so it can be helpful when eye drops are difficult to instill or not well tolerated. SLT may add to the pressure lowering effect of eye drops already being taken when a lower level of pressure is needed or when surgery might otherwise be the next step.
Most patients are suitable. Treatment is carried out whilst sitting with just eye drop anaesthetic. It is painless and takes about 10 minutes for each eye. It is effective in lowering pressure for about 80% of patients. The average duration of effect is 1-3 years and the procedure can be repeated.