Laser Peripheral Iridotomy (LPI)

Laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI) is the preferred procedure for treating angle-closure. LPI creates an internal hole in the outer edge of the iris, leading to an opening of the angle in the majority of cases.  Laser peripheral iridotomy has been used since 1984 as the standard first-line treatment for both as treatment and prevention of closed angle glaucoma and eyes at risk for this condition.

 

Is the laser procedure covered by my insurance?

LPI is billable to Medicare and all insurance companies.

 

Where is the laser performed?

The LPI procedure is conveniently performed at the Edmonds Eyecare clinic.

No dilation is required.  You can drive yourself home after the procedure if you prefer, however your vision may be blurred in the treated eye for a few hours

 

What should I expect during the procedure?

The eye is usually pretreated about half an hour before the procedure with drops that make the pupil small. Just before the procedure, anesthetic drops are placed to numb the surface of the eye, a lens is then placed on the eye to perform the laser. The procedure usually takes about 5 minutes and some patients may experience minor discomfort.

 

What should I expect after the procedure?

 

There is temporary blurriness of vision. The eye may be a little red, light sensitive, and/or uncomfortable, and there may also be a mild headache due to the eye drops given before the laser. The eye pressure is usually assessed within 30 minutes after the laser and anti-inflammatory eyedrops are usually prescribed for a few days.

 

 

Will the laser improve my vision?

No. Iridotomy is intended to preserve the vision and prevent glaucoma from developing or progressing.

 

What are the risks?

Possible risks include, rise in eye pressure, bleeding at the laser site, and inflammation; these are usually temporary. Closure of the iridotomy may occur, requiring retreatment. Stray light phenomenon is rare.

 

What happens if it doesn’t work?

In some cases the angle may not open. Depending on the situation, some patients might need further laser procedures, medical treatment, or surgery.

 

If I have glaucoma, will I still need to use my glaucoma medications?

Yes. Laser iridotomy is not a substitute for glaucoma eye drops in most cases if the patient is already on medication prior to the procedure.

 

How long does the effect last?

Although the angle widens in most cases after laser peripheral iridotomy, cataract formation or growth could close the angle again and cataract surgery may be required.