iridotomy side effects?
June 26, 2008 11:25 AM   Subscribe

Glaucoma Filter. Have you had a laser iridotomy? How common are any side effects, really?

A family member is scheduled for a laser peripheral iridotomy (LPI) to treat narrow angle glaucoma. As the procedure was explained by the doctor, it seemed pretty simple and straightforward. However, in my searching for info, I came across this page, where the comments have me concerned. If you or a loved one has had an iridotomy, did you have any lasting side effects? Persistent blurring or double-vision? How happy were you with the outcome?
posted by krix to Health & Fitness (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have not had an iridotomy. However, I will say that the people who tend to comment anonymously or semi-anonymously on the Internet about such matters are likely to be the ones who *did* have a crap surgeon or a bad experience, and thus it will look to you as if *everyone* has a terrible time with such procedures.

As I understand it, LPI is the standard procedure for closed-angle glaucoma. The consequences of not having it done may well be worse, in the long run, than having it done. In my own case, I had open-angle glaucoma to an insane extent-- intraocular pressures five times normal-- and my doctors were very clear about my options: I could take the very scary medication that might give me aplastic anemia, or I could do nothing and possibly have a very, very serious stroke.

I took the scary pill, needless to say. Glaucoma's not really something to fuck with, especially the closed-angle kind. Good luck to your relative!
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 12:20 PM on June 26, 2008

My father has had a pre-glaucoma condition for years. That is, they're managing his condition, so that it doesn't become full-blown glaucoma. He has had three or four laser surgeries, basically making small holes in his cornea (i think) to release the pressure. He said that they never called it iridotomy (was always just "laser surgery"), so I'm not sure if it's the same procedure, but he said he has never had any side effects of any kind.

He also said that for peace of mind, it would be a good idea to find out how many of these procedures that your particular surgeon has done. Would be comforting if it was in the thousands...

Also 2nding fairytale's observation that the folks who had a BAD experience are far and away the most likely to be vocal and post more often, so try not to use those sites as a benchmark.

Good luck to your family member!
posted by Spyder's Game at 10:42 AM on June 27, 2008

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