What is Endocyclophotocoagulation (ECP)?
ECP is often combined with cataract surgery to help reduce intraocular pressure. The procedure involves coagulation of the ciliary processes under direct visualization so as to cause inflammation and scarring with subsequent decrease in the amount of intraocular fluid produced within your eye. Since glaucoma usually involves a drainage problem, reducing the amount of fluid being made helps with the intraocular pressure.
After cataract surgery is completed a special probe is introduced into the eye through the same cataract incision. This probe has both a special camera as well as fiberoptic cables that will help deliver the laser energy. Your surgeon will observe the internal structures of your eye on a TV monitor and will direct the laser energy to the ciliary processes under direct visualization. The amount of energy delivered is titrated to achieve a blanching of the processes. An attempt is made to treat about 270 to 360 degrees around the eye to achieve maximal effect.
After the procedure an eye patch will be placed over your eye for the first 24 hours. Your doctor will want to examine you in the office the following morning when the patch will be removed and your eye pressure checked. You will be prescribed a regimen of postoperative drops for the next four to six weeks.
If the procedure is successful you can expect a decrease in the intraocular pressure and you possibly may come off some of your glaucoma medications. It takes about 6 to 8 weeks before the outcome of the laser procedure is known.
Benefits of the laser include no adverse events from added medications and the delay of a surgical procedure. Please feel free to discuss this laser or other procedures with your physician.