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Treatments

Trabeculoplasty

trabeculoplastia
Laser technique for open-angle glaucoma.
Ten-minute in-office procedure.
New selective-action and high-security equipment.

What is trabeculoplasty?

Trabeculoplasty is a treatment we perform by applying laser at the angle (chamber or iridocorneal angle) to allow the aqueous humour to exit and prevent this liquid from accumulating inside the eye cavity. When this happens, the pressure inside the eye increases and the optic nerve is compressed, irreversibly damaging it and leading to glaucoma.

The laser emits light with a certain wavelength that heats and destroys the tissues that make it difficult for the aqueous humour to pass, so that the drainage channel widens and the liquid can flow normally. Thanks to the new laser models we have incorporated at the Miranza clinics, this equipment is increasingly precise and selective to avoid affecting adjacent structures.

Eye diseases treated by trabeculoplasty

We usually perform trabeculoplasty when the hypotensive medication we prescribe to treat glaucoma does not lower intraocular pressure enough or is not well tolerated. However, technological improvements in recent years have enabled us to also consider laser as an initial treatment option, due to its minimal impact on eye structures. In many cases, it is an alternative prior to a glaucoma surgery.

If you have open-angle glaucoma, trabeculoplasty may be indicated for you, whereas if you have closed-angle glaucoma, we usually opt for other techniques. On the other hand, to be able to apply this treatment, it is necessary for the trabeculum (“mesh” that is located in the angle and through which the liquid is filtered) to be sufficiently pigmented so that the laser can be effective.

As it is a technique that we perform in the consulting room and does not require you to undergo surgery, trabeculoplasty is a highly comfortable procedure, which we perform in about 10 minutes and only requires the application of local anaesthesia in drops to avoid discomfort.

After the laser session, you may need to continue using hypotensive eye drops for a few weeks, until the treatment effect reaches its maximum level and we can assess the best strategy to continue monitoring your intraocular pressure. We will make an appointment for the appropriate check-ups and will closely follow your progress.

Trabeculoplasty has not only proven its effectiveness – reducing intraocular pressure by up to 20-30% and providing satisfying results in over 85% of patients –, but it is also a safe technique with a very low complication rate. Basically, the potential risks of this treatment are an inflammatory reaction or temporary intraocular hypertension right after the procedure. None of these factors are usually serious, as they are rare and we can control them with the right medication.

It is possible that, after a few years, the drainage angle may malfunction again, in which case the procedure can be repeated. Likewise, if trabeculoplasty is not enough to control intraocular pressure, we can assess different treatment alternatives, customised to your case.