The treatment of glaucoma, one of the leading causes of blindness in the world, involves lowering the eye pressure. In previous episodes, we discussed glaucoma medications and minimally invasive glaucoma surgeries, or MIGS. Dr. Megan Chambers, a glaucoma specialist from Ophthalmic Surgeons & Consultants of Ohio, will be discussing the use of lasers and more traditional surgeries to help lower eye pressure in the quest to halt the progression of glaucoma.
Selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) has gained in popularity over argon laser trabeculoplasty (ALT). SLT applies laser energy to create changes in the trabecular meshwork (drainage tissue) to allow fluid to filter out easier. This relatively quick, in-office procedure may take up to 3 months for the pressure-lowering effect to occur. It has about an 80% success rate and can be used as a first-line treatment or as a replacement for glaucoma eye drops.
Trabeculectomy is a surgical procedure performed in the operating room that is designed to lower intraocular pressure when medications and laser have failed to lower the pressure enough. A small flap is made in the eye wall near the cornea, and a small hole is made underneath this flap to let the eye fluid filter out slowly. The conjunctival tissue above the flap forms a “blister” called a bleb. Many times, patients will be able to stop their glaucoma drops after a trabeculectomy.
Glaucoma drainage implants, or tube shunts, are devices that are placed underneath the conjunctiva. The tube is placed into the eye and drains fluid into the plate portion of the implant. Usually this procedure is done after a trabeculectomy has failed.
Preserflo, formerly known as InnFocus microshunt, is undergoing FDA trials as a possible alternative to these traditional surgeries but with fewer side effects and complications.
Here is another great resource on glaucoma treatments.
To find out more about Dr. Megan Chambers and her practice, go to Ophthalmic Surgeons & Consultants of Ohio’s practice website.
This is intended for informational and educational purposes only, and nothing in this podcast/blog is to be considered as recommending or rendering medical advice or treatment to a specific patient. Please consult your eye care specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment of any eye conditions that you may have.