1st of March 2021

What is a laser iridotomy procedure?

A laser iridotomy is a safe, relatively painless procedure to open a narrow drainage angle in the eye. It is commonly performed in cases of narrow angle glaucoma or people with narrow angles at risk of glaucoma.

What is the drainage angle?

The drainage angle is the ring where the iris, the coloured part of the eye, meets the white of the eye. Internal eye fluid gets drained from the eye there. Having a clear drainage path to the angle is important to ensure the eye’s pressure remains low (the eye remains soft and healthy). If the drainage angle is narrow or blocked then fluid builds up in the eye and high eye pressure can develop (the eye becoming hard) potentially resulting in loss of vision from glaucoma.

Open Angle 15. normal circulation of fluid

Narrow Angle

15. Narrow drainage angles


Fortunately laser iridotomy is a successful and safe procedure that can open the drainage angle and prevent potential glaucoma damage occurring. 

What is involved in a laser iridotomy?

It is a safe and quick procedure, performed in an Ophthalmologist’s consulting rooms with a YAG laser. You are awake and the eye is anaesthetised with local anaesthetic drops, making you comfortable. It is quick, and following the laser you will need to use eye drops for 1 week.  

How does it work?

17. iridotomy 

Laser Iridotomy

The laser makes a small hole in the iris near its root. This hole is invisible however opens the narrow angle by letting fluid forward from behind the iris. 

16. laser iridotomy

Associate Professor Skalicky is highly experienced performing glaucoma laser procedures like the laser iridotomy. Book an appointment if you need to discuss whether you require a laser iridotomy.