What is ECP?
Endoscopic CycloPhotocoagulation or ECP, is an exciting development in the management of many types of glaucoma including the more common open-angle glaucoma and narrow-angle glaucoma. ECP is performed on an outpatient basis. In this procedure, the ciliary body of the eye, which creates fluid, is treated with a laser. This reduces fluid production that in turn, reduces intra-ocular pressure. The ciliary body is a small gland running around the circumference of the eye located behind the iris.
ECP allows the surgeon to view the area through an endoscopic camera, which aids in the very precise placement of the laser beam used for treatment.
Endoscopic CycloPhotocoagulation is often performed on patients at the time of cataract surgery. It can also be performed on those patients who had SLT or ALT laser procedures, glaucoma filtration surgery or other surgical procedures that were not successful at controlling intra-ocular pressure.
ECP has proven to be an effective way to reduce intra-ocular pressure. Studies have shown that the majority of patients have their glaucoma medications reduced or completely eliminated after the procedure and are no longer at risk of loss of vision from glaucoma.
Endoscopic CycloPhotocoagulation is for those who:
- Have glaucoma or higher than normal intra-ocular pressure including those with cataracts
- Have not responded well to medications and other surgical treatments
What to Expect on Procedure Day
ECP is most often performed at the same time as cataract surgery, after the cataract has been removed from the eye. No additional incisions are required. The ECP probe uses tiny, optical fibers to illuminate, view and treat the ciliary body with laser energy. Approximately 20 to 40 laser applications will be administered.
Your eye pressure will be checked shortly after your procedure and drops may be prescribed to alleviate any soreness or swelling inside your eye. You may also receive oral medications to control inflammation.
You should relax for the rest of the day. Follow-up visits are necessary to monitor eye pressure. It may take a few weeks to see the full pressure-lowering effect of this procedure. Most patients resume normal activities within a few days.
The effect of the surgery may wear off over time, but the majority of patients have their pressure reduced and many can eliminate their need for glaucoma medications. However, this procedure and other glaucoma surgical procedures do not restore lost vision. Serious complications with Endoscopic CycloPhotocoagulation are rare, but like any surgical procedure, it does have some risks. Prior to your procedure, you will be given additional information that will allow you to make an informed decision. Be sure you have all your questions answered to your satisfaction.