Laser Peripheral Iridotomy (LPI)
What is laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI)?
Laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI) is when laser is used to create a small hole through the iris (the colored part of the eye) and at its periphery.
What conditions are treated by laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI)?
Laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI) is used to prevent or treat specific types of glaucoma. Most commonly it is used to treat anatomical narrow angles and its associated glaucomatous conditions. It is also used for other conditions that can put the patient at risk of glaucoma including plateau iris configuration, pigmentary dispersion syndrome, aqueous misdirection, and systemic medications affecting the iridocorneal angle.
How is laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI) done?
Laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI) is performed in the office. The patient will be sitting at the laser machine. Using a special lens, the ophthalmologist will apply multiple laser shots to the periphery of the iris to create a full-thickness hole through the iris. The procedure takes a few minutes.
What are some side effects and risks of laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI)?
During the procedure the patient may feel a sharp pain or a dull soreness. The eye may remain sore for about a day after the procedure. However, most patients tolerate the procedure well.
The laser light is quite intense and can cause blurred vision for a short time following the procedure.
There eye may become mildly inflamed. This is often expected and prophylactic eye drops are often prescribed to the patient for a week to control the inflammation.
The eye pressure may rise and it is usually controlled with eye drops.
There may be bleeding inside the eye which is usually minimal and can be stopped by applying pressure on the eye.
Some patients may experience glare or halos after the procedure. The majority of these symptoms resolve spontaneously within a few months.
The hole may close within days, weeks, or months. In this case, the procedure is repeated to open the hole.