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Cyclodestructive Laser Surgery

What is it?

  • Cyclodestructive (sih-klo-d-struh-tif) laser surgery or cyclophotocoagulation (sih-klo-fo-to-ko-ag-u-lah-shun) is used after other treatments for glaucoma (glaw-ko-muh) have not worked. Glaucoma is an eye disease. A clear fluid flows through passages inside your eye all the time. With glaucoma, these passages get blocked or clogged and pressure increases inside the eye. Cyclodestructive laser surgery burns and damages the ciliary body (part of your eye that makes the fluid). This lessens the amount of fluid it makes and relieves the pressure in your eyes. Sometimes you may need to have this kind of laser surgery several times to get the ciliary body to makes less liquid.
  • Cyclodestructive laser surgery is usually done in a clinic. One or both eyes may be done. Often you will be able to see right after the surgery, but sometimes your eyes may be bandaged. Your eyes may feel sore and swollen but that will go away in 1 to 2 weeks. You may have blurred vision as your eyes heal.

Can laser surgery help me?

  • Cyclodestructive laser surgery may not work for every kind of glaucoma. Caregivers will do eye tests to understand more about your glaucoma. It is important that you understand what this kind of surgery can and cannot do for your sight. Good results from laser surgery vary from person to person. Ask you caregiver questions if you are not sure you understand. Any vision you have lost because of glaucoma will probably not return, even with laser surgery.
  • The following issues are important for you to be successful with laser surgery.
    • Age.
    • How your eye is built.
    • If you have a pacemaker, your eye doctor must work closely with your heart doctor. They will need to decide if the laser will cause any problems with your heart.
    • Other diseases you have that may effect your glaucoma.
    • Type of glaucoma you have.

What Happens During Laser Surgery?

  • You will be given eye drops and a shot to numb your eyes so you feel no pain. You may also given medicine by mouth to feel more relaxed. You are then taken to the surgical room with the laser and computer. Caregivers help you get comfortable on the bed or in a special chair. Before your surgery, a nurse or caregiver will wash around your eyes. A special pillow or face holder is used to keep your head still during surgery.
  • Your caregiver will put a special lens on your eye. The laser's light beam is aim at this lens and is reflected into your eye. You may see flashes of green or red light. Your caregiver then uses the laser to burn parts of the ciliary body. After the laser treatment, you are given another shot and eye ointment to lessen inflammation (swelling and redness).

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. To help with this plan, you must learn about glaucoma laser surgery. You can then discuss treatment options with your caregivers. Work with them to decide what care will be used to treat you. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.