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YAG Laser Iridotomy

YAG Laser Iridotomy 

What is Angle Closure Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye condition in which there is damage to the optic nerve (nerve that carries visual information to the brain), most commonly due to raised eye pressures. Glaucoma is of two types: Open Angle (chronic) and Angle Closure (acute). Angle Closure Glaucoma occurs because the angle between the iris (coloured part of your eye) and cornea (outer transparent layer) is too narrow causing obstruction to the normal drainage channels of the eye fluid.



What is YAG Laser Iridotomy?

YAG Laser Iridotomy is an outpatient procedure which is used to treat or prevent Angle Closure Glaucoma. Here, a YAG (short for Yttrium Aluminium Garnet) laser beam is used to create a small hole in your iris. Making this hole helps the fluid inside the eye to flow freely from the back to the front of the eye. This helps reduce the raised eye pressure and hence lessen the risk of acute angle closure glaucoma.

When is this procedure performed? (Indications)

An increase in eye pressure can be very painful and can cause permanent vision loss. YAG Laser Iridotomy is performed to:

·         Treat an attack of Acute Glaucoma

·         Prevent an attack of Acute Glaucoma

·         Pigment Dispersion due to bowing of your iris: Pigment Dispersion is a condition in which your iris pigment is shed and dispersed through the front of your eye. This pigment may clog the drainage (trabecular meshwork) and raise eye pressure.

·         To find out the cause for raised eye pressure in malignant glaucoma

What are the complications of YAG Laser Iridotomy?

This procedure is generally very safe. However, complications may occur like inflammation (your body’s reaction causing redness, pain, swelling etc.) inside your eye, raised eye pressure, clouding/ damage to your cornea or speeding up of cataract inside your eye. Rarely, it is seen that a small amount of bleeding can occur inside your eye, which settles down quickly.

How do I prepare for the procedure?

No special preparation is required. Some eye drops will be put in your eye to constrict your pupils (the hole in the centre of your iris). The procedure will be explained to you and you will be required to sign a consent form.

How is YAG Laser Iridotomy procedure performed?



This is an OPD procedure, meaning that you are not required to go to the operation theatre. You will be awake, but your eye will be numbed. The entire procedure takes approximately 15 – 20 minutes. The procedure is done through an instrument that is similar to the one used to examine your eyes. After your pupil is constricted, an anaesthetic is applied to your eye to benumb it. Then, a special Iridotomy contact lens is placed on your eye which increases magnification and helps accurate projection of the laser. The hole is then made in the upper part of your peripheral iris so that it is covered by your eyelid. You will see a few bright flashes of light and hear a clicking sound. You may experience a slight discomfort as the laser is directed onto your iris.

What can I expect after the procedure?

Immediately after the procedure, another eye drop is applied. You may experience redness of eyes, soreness and blurry vision for a while after the procedure, but this resolves soon. Your vision is not expected to get better or worse because of this procedure.

What are the precautions to be taken after YAG Laser Iridotomy?

You would be required to use Steroid Eye drops for a few days. You will be called for a follow up examination after a few days to recheck your eye pressures.