Laser Sclerostomy for Glaucoma

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Laser Sclerostomy for Glaucoma

Topic Overview

In laser sclerostomy, a piece of the sclera (the white part of the eye) is removed to create an opening where fluid can drain out of the eye. This procedure is rarely done and can only be done at hospitals that have the special lasers it requires.

Laser sclerostomy:

  • Requires a smaller incision than other surgeries for glaucoma.
  • Is less likely to disrupt the lining of the eyelid.
  • Is simpler for the doctor to do.
  • Allows the doctor to reach areas that are difficult to operate on using other types of surgery.
  • Takes less time than other procedures.

If a special medication (5-fluorouracil) is used, less scar tissue usually forms after this surgery. This medication can be used with other surgeries for glaucoma to decrease scarring.

This procedure has many risks, including:

  • Bleeding in the eye.
  • Softening of the eyeball due to fluid loss (hypotony), possibly leading to clouding of the lens (cataract).
  • Damage to the coloured part of the eye (iris).

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
Last Revised August 2, 2010

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