Endocyclophotocoagulation (ECP) is a laser procedure used to treat glaucoma. The treatment is performed at the same time or after successful cataract surgery has been performed. ECP is highly successful in reducing or eliminating glaucoma drops for patients with open angle glaucoma, the most common form of glaucoma in the United States.
Open Angle Glaucoma
There are many forms of glaucoma. In patients with open angle glaucoma, high intraocular pressure (IOP) is a common risk factor in these patients. Most treatments for open angle glaucoma are aimed at reducing the eye pressure. Open angle glaucoma is usually treated with eye drops to lower the intraocular pressure (IOP).
Eye drops used to treat glaucoma reduce the IOP by decreasing the production of the internal fluid of the eye (called aqueous humor) or by increasing the drainage of the fluid from the eye.
Endocyclophotocoagulation (ECP) works by decreasing the production of aqueous.
Ciliary Body Produces Aqueous
The ciliary body is the tissue which makes the aqueous humor. The ciliary body is located just behind the iris and can only be seen using the fiber optics seen in the video. The fiber optic camera slips through the pupil and behind the iris. The ciliary body is the irregular undulating tissue forming a ring behind the iris. In the video, the ECP laser turns the ciliary body white during the treatment.
The endocylophotocoagulation laser “ablates” about 50% of the ciliary body and reduces IOP by reducing the production of aqueous.
Cataracts and Glaucoma
Many people with cataracts also have glaucoma. ECP is commonly performed just after cataract surgery has been completed. In other situations, ECP can be performed, but only if the patient has had previous cataract surgery.
The natural lens is too big to allow the probe to fit through the pupil and underneath the iris, whereas an intraocular lens is much thinner than the natural lens allowing great access to the ciliary body.
We look forward to seeing you. If you have questions about treating glaucoma or to make an appointment, please give us a call.