The compassionate team at Chu Vision Institute is dedicated to using the most innovative technologies and treatments available to address glaucoma. If you have glaucoma, we may be able to limit damage to your optic nerve to save your sight with a procedure known as endoscopic cyclophotocoagulation (ECP). This minimally invasive treatment uses a gentle beam of laser light to decrease the amount of fluid produced in your eye as a means of lowering your intraocular pressure. As such, the ECP treatment is designed to limit or slow future damage to your vision.
Using this advanced technique to treat glaucoma, board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Ralph Chu has helped many patients become less reliant on prescription medications and eye drops. Dr. Chu and the skilled and experienced medical professionals at Chu Vision Institute are widely knowledgeable about ECP and other advanced treatments for glaucoma. Contact us in Minneapolis, MN to schedule your eye examination, and find out more about whether ECP could help effectively manage the symptoms of glaucoma.
AM I A CANDIDATE FOR ECP?
ECP is a more aggressive treatment so it is typically not used as the first line of defense against glaucoma. Depending on your specific case, Dr. Chu may recommend that you first try medications and other surgical procedures, such as selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT). If you do not respond well with these types of initial treatments and you have high intraocular pressure and limited vision, we may determine that ECP is well suited for you. In addition, if you do not qualify for other glaucoma treatments, you may be a candidate for ECP. During your consultation at Chu Vision Institute, a full eye examination and a review of your health history will be performed.
ECP PROCEDURE TECHNIQUE
Dr. Chu performs ECP as an outpatient procedure at Chu Surgery Center, our accredited ambulatory surgery facility located adjacent to our Bloomington, MN office. ECP is sometimes, but not always, done in conjunction with cataract surgery. Before beginning the ECP, your eyes will be numbed with a local anesthetic. Dr. Chu will then insert a thin probe (about the thickness of a paper clip) into a tiny incision made in your eye. The probe has an attached video camera that allows him to see into the microscopic eye structures. Next, he will apply a precise, gentle laser energy beam to your eye’s ciliary body, which is the structure of the eye that produces fluid. By using laser energy to cause scarring and inflammation of the ciliary epithelium, the amount of eye fluid produced is decreased. This treatment can also help decrease intraocular pressure. The tiny incision should heal quickly on its own so there is typically no need for stitches.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER ECP
ECP itself takes about 15 minutes to perform, and you should not have a long recovery period afterward. Generally, you can expect to get right back to your routine. We may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications and antibiotic eye drops that you will need to use for the next several weeks. After ECP, many patients report heightened quality of life and increased freedom to continue in their regular activities. Although a cure for glaucoma does not presently exist, the team at Chu Vision Institute is committed to helping our patients manage their glaucoma symptoms with some of the most innovative technologies and treatments available today.
YOU HAVE OPTIONS TO EXPLORE
Based on your specific type and stage of glaucoma, we offer a full menu of minimally invasive treatments to help lower intraocular pressure. Endoscopic cyclophotocoagulation (ECP) may be ideal to provide you with more relief than your current medication regimen or previous surgeries. Contact our office in Bloomington, MN to schedule your in-depth consultation with Dr. Chu, and find out if you are a candidate for ECP or other treatments to sustain your vision.