Laser iridotomy is a surgical procedure that is performed on the eye to treat angle-closure glaucoma, a condition of increased intraocular pressure (IOP) in the front chamber (anterior chamber) that is caused by sudden (acute) or slowly progressive (chronic) blockage of the normal circulation of fluid within the eye.
Normally intraocular fluid flows freely between the anterior and posterior sections of the eye. As pressure builds in the eye, this circulation is cut off. In laser iridotomy, an argon laser is used to create a hole in part of the iris, allowing fluid to flow more normally and intraocular pressure to return to normal. Lowering of the IOP is important because extreme elevations in IOP can damage the retina and the optic nerve permanently.