Laser surgeries lower intraocular pressure by enhancing the drainage of aqueous fluid or slowing its production. The kind of laser surgery used depends on the type of glaucoma being treated.
In some cases, laser surgery may have to be repeated to control internal eye pressure more effectively. Typically, medications will still be needed to maintain fluid pressure within the eye, although a lower dose than previously used may be sufficient. If the laser therapy does not lower the pressure in the eye satisfactorily or the effects wear off, the surgeon may recommend conventional surgery.
“Filtering microsurgery” is used when management of glaucoma through medication and laser surgery has failed or is less desirable. Trabeculectomy is commonly used to prevent or curtail damage to the optic nerve by reducing intraocular pressure.
In case of complicated glaucoma or patients who have had multiple surgeries, the use of a tube-shunt or seton is sometimes required. These devices have a plastic tube that is placed in the eye, which drains to an external reservoir placed outside the eye.
The iStent Trabecular Micro-Bypass stent is a new surgical therapy approved by the FDA for the treatment of glaucoma by improving aqueous outflow and reducing intraocular pressure. If a patient has been diagnosed with glaucoma and also has cataracts, then the FDA has approved the placement of one device in a patient’s eye during cataract surgery. As always, a Kansas City Eye Clinic doctor will personalize each patient’s treatment plan and determine if the iStent is the course of action. You can read more about the iStent on their website.
Any type of surgical procedure has risks and any given procedure is most effective on the best candidates for surgery. Your Kansas City Eye Clinic doctors, Sara O.Connell, M.D. and Johann Ohly, M.D. are specialists in the field of glaucoma diagnosis, treatment and surgery. Click here, to arrange for an examination if you have risk factors or concerns about glaucoma.
If you have any specific questions regarding glaucoma, please email us or call the Kansas City Eye Clinic 913.341.3100.