Iridectomy is a surgical procedure that involves removing the outer parts of your iris. The iris is the flat, ring-shaped membrane behind the cornea and it is the part that provides a person with eye color.
This type of surgery is mainly performed as a treatment for closed-angle glaucoma, which is a medical condition where the pressure inside the eye has become too high to its normal pressure. The condition can lead to optic nerve damage and vision loss. It is a less common form of glaucoma as about 90 percent of all glaucoma cases are open-angle glaucoma. Closed-angle glaucoma can be acute or chronic and usually occurs suddenly. It is an emergency condition and needs immediate medical attention. Chronic closed-angle glaucoma often has subtler symptoms that sometimes are unnoticeable. Depending on which type of closed-angle glaucoma you have, an iridectomy can be performed as an emergency treatment or scheduled.
Besides treating closed-angle glaucoma, iridectomy can also be performed to treat melanoma of the iris, which is a malignant tumor that grows in the pigmented cells of your iris and can destroy your vision.
Has your doctor advised you to undergo an iridectomy? Or are you just curious about the procedure? Read on to learn the top five facts that you should know.
Two techniques for Iridectomy
There are two techniques to perform an iridectomy: laser and conventional (invasive) iridectomy. Laser iridectomy is usually performed in an emergency situation. Before a laser iridectomy, your eyes are pre-treated with eye drops to make the pupil small. The pre-treatment is usually done half an hour before the actual procedure. During the actual procedure, you will be given anesthetic drops to numb the surface of your eye. Then, your doctor will place a lens on your eye and a laser is used to create a hole in the outer edge of your iris. Your doctor will remove a full-thickness section of your iris. This is done to relieve fluid pressure. Laser iridectomy takes around 5 to 10 minutes to perform. Most patients usually experience minor pain.
With conventional iridectomy, a piece of sterile cloth will be placed around your eye. You will be given general anesthetic, meaning you will sleep throughout the procedure. Then, your surgeon will use special instruments to create incisions in your cornea and remove a section of your iris.
No special preparation
No special preparation is required for an iridectomy, particularly laser iridectomy. However, if you are going to undergo a conventional iridectomy, you may be asked to avoid eating or drinking for about eight hours before the procedure as you will be given a general anesthetic.
The aftercare is minimal as you will only feel some discomfort and have a headache, but your doctor will prescribe medication to help ease them. Eye drops will also be given to minimize the risk of infection. For several days following the surgery, you will need to wear an eyepatch. Some people go back to work the next day, but the full recovery until your vision returns to normal may take up to six weeks.
Minimal risk and side effects
After the procedure, your vision will temporarily be blurred and your eye may be sensitive to light, and look a little red. Some people also experience headaches. However, all of these side effects are completely normal and will subside within a few days. Besides the normal side effects, the risks are minimal and rare. Some of the risks are bleeding, infection, and scarring.
The success rate is pretty high
Iridectomy is not always successful, but the success rate is pretty good and around 60% of patients who had this surgery claimed that their iridectomy is successful and that their vision has improved. The success rate depends on the skills of your doctor. Therefore, you will need to ensure that your doctor is experienced and highly-skilled. Using MyMediTravel, you will easily find a highly-qualified Doctor, Hospital, and Clinic in almost all countries of the world!