Endocyclophotocoagulation Laser (ECP)

What is the endocyclophotocoagulation laser treatment?

Most people who suffer from glaucoma have an imbalance between fluid production and drainage within the eye that leads to a pressure increase. Eye drops are designed to control this pressure, as they can either lower fluid production or improve drainage potential. Endocyclophotocoagulation laser treatment (ECP) works in a similar way, as it can lower intraocular pressure by decreasing fluid production and ultimately treat glaucoma.

What does the ECP procedure entail?

A small video camera at the tip of the ECP laser apparatus enables the surgeon to carefully direct laser energy at the ciliary processes, the part of the inside of the eye that produces fluid. In most cases, when the ciliary processes are treated by the laser, there is less fluid produced in the eye, and the intraocular pressure is lowered.

The ECP laser can be useful in many types of glaucoma, and can be used as a stand-alone procedure, or in combination with cataract surgery. The ECP laser may reduce the amount of drops a person needs, or improve eye pressure with the same number of drops. The treatment may eliminate or delay the need for more risky or invasive glaucoma surgery.

What are the main risks of ECP?

  • Inflammation – this is typically short-lived and controlled with steroid eye drops
  • Bleeding or infection – a risk with any intraocular surgery
  • Retinal swelling (cystoid macular edema) related to inflammation
  • Failure of the laser to obtain the desired eye pressure lowering effect

The ECP laser, particularly when combined with cataract surgery, is a relatively minimally invasive and effective intervention to lower intraocular pressure and control glaucoma. The recovery after the laser is typically rapid, similar to a person’s recovery after standard cataract surgery.

To learn if the ECP laser treatment is right for your specific eye needs, please contact us today to schedule your appointment.


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