What is SLT? | Part 2

This is "What is SLT?" Part 2.


The most common side effect is post-operative inflammation, but it is generally mind and treated with observation to ensure it stays mild. In cases where inflammation becomes excessive, the inflammation is treated with anti-inflammatory eye drops or an oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. Transient blurring of vision, headache, corneal edema, or eye pain may also occur.

In about 5% of patients the IOP increases immediately after the procedure. The increase in pressure caused by the SLT procedure usually goes away after 24 hours.

How effective is SLT?

For some patients SLT will control their IOP, but other patients may still need other IOP-lowering medications. Those medications include eye drops such as prostaglandin analogs, beta blockers, alpha agonists, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, and rho kinase inhibitors. Some of these medications increase the outflow of aqueous humor and others decrease the production of aqueous humor and some do both.

Is SLT a cure for glaucoma?

There is no cure for glaucoma, but it can be effectively controlled and SLT is one way to do that. Whether SLT and medication are used or medication alone, follow-up monitoring and testing done by your eye care professional are required to control the condition.

Are there other procedures for glaucoma?

Argon laser trabeculoplasty (ALT) and micropulse laser trabeculoplasty (MLT) are two other laser-based treatments.

ALT was the first laser procedure developed for glaucoma treatment and it uses a thermal laser and may cause more scarring than SLT, which usually means that ALT can’t be repeated after the effects wear off.

MLT uses pulsed energy in small increments and it has similar outcome and benefits—less tissue scarring, lower inflammation, and the ability to repeat the procedure.

SLT, ALT, and MLT are comparable in their IOP-lowering effects.

What is the cost?

The SLT procedure is covered by Medicare and medical insurance. The cost for an uninsured individual will vary based on the provider.