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Yag Iridotomy

Yag Iridotomy

What is laser iridotomy?

The word iridotomy means making a tiny hole in the iris (coloured part of the eye). Since the yag laser is used for this procedure it is also known as yag-iridotomy.

What condition is this procedure used to treat?

Yag-iridotomy is used to treat narrow angle glaucoma. Narrow angle glaucoma is a condition in which the drainage angle of the eye has become narrow and thus there is decreased drainage of the aqueous from the eye. This decreased drainage leads to increase eye pressure.

The drainage angle is narrowed because the iris has ballooned out like a sail and closed the opening of the angle.
By making a hole in the iris the aqueous drains out through the hole and decreases this ballooning and thus opens the angle and thus increases drainage of the aqueous.

Can it treat all types of glaucoma?

No, this cannot be used to treat all types of glaucoma. Only glaucoma in which the angle can be widened can be treated by this laser. For eg, open angle glaucoma cannot be treated by this laser. For open angle glaucoma another laser is used which is called trabeculoplasty.

What do I have to do after the procedure?

After the procedure your eye doctor will give you some eye drops to put in your eyes for a period of five days. You will be required to come to hospital after 5 days and show your eyes to your doctor. Your doctor may call you again after a few days depending on your eye condition. This procedure does not mean that you will not be required to apply any more medications to control the glaucoma. There may be instances wherein inspite of the laser you will be required to apply glaucoma medications to control the eye pressure.

Does this procedure mean that I have to get admitted in the hospital?

No, this procedure does not mean admission in the hospital. Laser iridotomy is an out patient procedure and takes very little time. You will be required to sit on a machine just like the machine that you sat on during your eye exam (slit lamp).

What are the complications of the procedure?

Though a relatively safe procedure there are a few complications that may arise

  • Rise in intraocular pressure
  • Ocular inflammation
  • Blurred vision for a few days