Cyclodiode Laser Treatment


What is it?
Cyclodiode laser treatment causes cyclodestruction, destroying a portion of the ciliary body, a structure in the eye which produces aqueous fluid. This can reduce the amount of fluid produced and therefore reduce pressure inside the eye. The laser energy is directed to the ciliary body via a probe that is held against the wall of the eye.

How does it work?

If the natural (aqueous) fluid that fills the eye cannot drain away properly, it can result in a build-up of pressure within the eye. The high pressure can cause loss of vision and, if very high, pain or discomfort. Cyclodiode laser treatment works by reducing the amount of aqueous fluid produced and therefore reduce pressure inside the eye.

Who is it suitable for?

This procedure is most commonly used on eyes where other forms of surgery would be difficult or likely to fail. Although the treatment is usually effective, more than one treatment is sometimes required. The aim of glaucoma treatment is to reduce the pressure to a level which is safe for the eye.

What are the benefits?
In some patients, cyclodiode laser treatment can have the additional benefit of reducing pain from high pressure.

This procedure DOES NOT improve your vision.

Before the procedure

Please take all medication as normal or as instructed. Your eye specialist (ophthalmologist) will advise you on which of your eye drops to use after the procedure.

During the procedure

This procedure is usually carried out under local anaesthetic. This means that although you will be awake, the eye will be numb so you will not feel any pain. You do not usually have to stay in hospital—the procedure itself lasts approximately 15 minutes and is carried out in the operating theatre.

After the procedure

  • You will have an eye shield or pad on your eye which can be removed when you get home.
  • You may notice some blood-stained tears on the eye pad when you remove it.
  • This is normal and there is nothing to worry about.It is not advisable to drive on the day of the procedure.
  • Your sight may be blurred immediately after the operation.
  • This will usually improve after a week or two but can last up to six weeks.
  • Your eye will be watery for a short period of time.You may have a gritty sensation in the eye for a week or two.
  • Mild pain can be relieved by taking pain killers such as paracetamol.
  • Following your operation you should rest and take things easy.
  • You can carry out normal day to day activities.
  • You will be given some eye drops to administer regularly.
  • These will usually start on the evening of your surgery once you get home.
  • Your ophthalmologist or discharging nurse will explain the frequency of drops to you.
  • If you are on more than one drop wait 5 minutes between each eye drop.
  • In addition to your post-operative drops, please continue any regular eye drops in the operated eye until your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • If you take drops in the non-operated eye please continue as normal.
  • You will have regular clinic appointments following the surgery to monitor your eye pressures. The first one is normally the next day.

What are the risks?

Any medical treatment involves potential risks. Some of those which apply to this procedure are:

  • Pain after the operation
  • Inflammation in the eye
  • In some cases the pressure can be too high or low following treatment
  • High pressure following the procedure may require another treatment session
  • In some cases reduced vision for up to 6 weeks
  • In very rare cases persistently very low pressure can cause permanent loss of vision and alter the cosmetic appearance of the eye
  • Very rarely bleeding or infection
  • Although the risks may sound worrying it is important to remember that cyclodiode laser treatment is generally successful and well tolerated.

Are there any alternatives?

Cyclodiode laser is one of many glaucoma treatments, including eye drops, drainage surgery and other types of laser. Typically, if your Ophthalmologist recommends the use of cyclodiode laser, then alternative treatment options have proven ineffective, or have been deemed inappropriate. Having an understanding of why cyclodiode is appropriate for you – through discussion with your Ophthalmologist – is recommended.