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Iridotomy (Laser Eye Surgery)

Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that can lead to permanent eye damage and even blindness. One type of glaucoma is closed-angle glaucoma, which is a condition that blocks the fluid from draining naturally from your eye. The resulting increase in pressure inside your eyeball can damage your optic nerve. To prevent this from happening, your experienced ophthalmologist at Vitreous Retina Macula Consultants of New York performs a laser procedure called an iridotomy, which relieves the pressure. Call VRMNY for a consultation today to discover if this painless procedure can help you.

What Is Iridotomy?

Iridotomy is an eye surgical procedure used to treat closed-angle glaucoma. Also called angle-closure glaucoma, this eye condition in which your iris bulges forward and narrows against the cornea, blocking the vitreous fluid from draining properly. The blockage means fluid can’t circulate in your eye, which leads to a dangerous buildup of pressure.


This is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention by an eye specialist. Failure to treat angle-closure glaucoma can cause severe symptoms and threaten your vision. Visit Vitreous Retina Macula Consultants of New York (VRMNY), the center for ophthalmology for advanced surgical procedures, including peripheral iridotomy. The highly experienced eye doctors at VRMNY also perform other eye laser surgeries, such as:

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What Are the Symptoms of Angle-Closure Glaucoma?

Angle-closure glaucoma comes with severe symptoms that lower your quality of life. Closed-angle glaucoma is a rare type of glaucoma, along with narrow-angle and acute congestive glaucoma. The blockage of the vitreous fluid in your eye can cause permanent damage, resulting in vision problems. The condition can develop suddenly or show up gradually. Symptoms of closed-angle glaucoma include:

  • Severe eye pain
  • Recurring headaches
  • Blurred vision or loss of vision
  • Mid-dilated pupil
  • Eye redness
  • Nausea
  • Seeing rainbows at night if you look directly at lights
Angle-Closure Glaucoma
Angle-Closure Glaucoma

If you notice any of these symptoms, consult an eye specialist immediately. Vision loss from glaucoma is permanent, but with an early diagnosis, you can get effective treatment to protect your vision. Your ophthalmologist at VRMNY has the advanced medical equipment required for a successful laser iridotomy procedure.

Who’s a Candidate for a Laser Iridotomy?

You may qualify for this procedure after your eye doctor evaluates your condition, performs a medical history and maybe even opts for some diagnostic imaging tests. In general, you’re a good candidate for a laser iridotomy if:

  • At least half your eye is affected by the closed angle.
  • You have glaucoma or high internal eye pressure.
  • You have early signs of closed-angle glaucoma.
  • You have mild a closed-angle glaucoma with no optic nerve damage and want preventive treatment.

Peripheral iridotomy from a laser is among the more effective in-office procedures for eye treatment. The procedure is low-risk for serious complications. Your experienced ophthalmologist at VRMNY, with offices in Manhattan, Westchester and Brooklyn, expertly handles the procedure to alleviate your symptoms and protect your vision.

How’s the Laser Iridotomy Procedure Done?

Traditional surgical iridotomy involved removing a part of your iris, which would pose a severe risk of suprachoroidal hemorrhage or internal bleeding. Today, the best eye doctors in NYC specializing in iridotomy use the safer and more effective laser, also called laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI). The procedure lowers intraocular pressure caused by narrow-angle or closed-angle glaucoma, preventing damage to your optic nerve.

The LPI procedure has emerged as one of the most successful treatments for angle-closure glaucoma. During the laser iridotomy procedure, your eye doctor uses laser to create a hole in the outer edge of your eye’s iris. The goal is to widen the pathway and enhance drainage of intraocular fluid. This in-office surgical procedure is painless, with only a pinprick sensation. The steps in a laser iridotomy include:

  • Initial consultation. Your eye doctor examines your eye and looks for symptoms of closed-angle glaucoma. Eye tests and an evaluation of your medical history help the ophthalmologist develop an individualized treatment plan. Your doctor explains the laser procedure, including its effectiveness, risks and the recovery process.
  • Preparation. Your eye is pre-treated to reduce the size of the pupil. The process stretches and thins your iris to make it easier for the laser to make the tiny hole. Just before the laser iridotomy procedure, your eye specialist uses anesthetic drops on your eye to reduce any possible discomfort.
  • The laser iridotomy procedure. Your eye doctor uses a special contact lens placed on your eye to focus the laser on the iris. A clear gel placed between the eye and the lens protects your eye. The doctor guides the lens to perform the LPI.
  • Post-treatment release. After the laser peripheral iridotomy surgery, your eye doctor removes the contact lens and cleans your eye. You have to remain for about half an hour after the procedure while your doctor monitors your eye pressure. Then you’re released so a friend or family member can drive you home, since you can’t drive yourself.
  • What to expect. After the surgery, you may feel some mild discomfort, blurred vision, light sensitivity or a feeling of something gritty in your eye. These are mild side effects that resolve with time. The doctor may prescribe eye drops to relieve any elevated eye pressure.
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Where Should I Get an Iridotomy?

The eye treatment team at VRMNY performs highly successful eye procedures, including a YAG iridotomy. Your eye doctor takes you through every step of the procedure. The laser iridotomy procedure is a safer alternative to a surgical iridotomy. LPI effectively prevents serious visual damage caused by an acute attack of angle-closure glaucoma.

If you’re struggling with eye pain, headaches and blurred vision, get an eye exam from an experienced eye specialist to see if you have angle-closure glaucoma. Vitreous Retina Macula Consultants of New York has a team of iridotomy doctors who are world renowned and well-respected. They perform closed-angle glaucoma and other eye procedures. Contact these ophthalmologists in New York City today to protect your vision through advanced eye procedures.

Updated on May 17, 2022 by Ophthalmologists & Retina Specialists of Vitreous Retina Macula Consultants of New York

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