Patients with angle closure glaucoma who have an iridotomy, a procedure which uses a laser to create a hole in the iris to allow ocular fluid to drain, may experience a number of side effects from the procedure. The most common complaint patients have is blurred vision. Some people may have a spike in the pressure levels in the eye that has had surgery; others sometimes have swelling, inflammation, or bleeding in the eye. Sometimes the opening that was created will close up. In certain cases, patients may have visual disturbances like glare, clouding, or lines in their vision after having surgery.
The problem most patients notice after an iridotomy is blurring of their vision. This is not typically cause for concern and clears up quickly. Most patients can expect it to go away within 30 minutes of surgery.
Another side effect of iridotomy that affects some people is a spike in intraocular pressure, or IOP. This issue is less common and typically occurs within a day after surgery. If it persists, further medical intervention may be necessary to decrease the pressure.
Patients can also develop a variety of uncomfortable issues after an iridotomy. There may be inflammation in the eye, which typically subsides after several days but may last up to a month. Topical corticosteroids may need to be used to reduce the inflammation. The eye may also become swollen and sore, and some patients may also have bleeding. In rare cases, scratching, burning, or abrasions to the cornea, pupil, or inner lining of the eye can occur during surgery, which may lead to further complications.
The purpose of a laser iridotomy is to create an opening for blocked fluid to drain out of the eye. In certain patients, that hole may spontaneously close itself some time after the surgery. This may lead to the patient needing a second surgery to re-create an opening for drainage.
Though fairly rare, long-term visual disturbances may be a problem after iridotomy. Some people notice that they have clouding in the lens of the eye. Others complain of glare from lights or may experience double vision. Horizontal lines may appear intermittently in their line of vision. Occasionally, patients complain of a loss of vision, though this side effect is very rare and may be related to irritation of the eye or cataract development; anyone who experiences this problem should be checked by their doctor.