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    INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS

     

    The sections below provide further information about potential treatments for glaucoma - ranging from laser treatment, minimally invasive surgical techniques to filtration and tube surgery. Please click on the text and highlighted links for more information. 

    Laser Treatments for Glaucoma

    Laser treatment has an important role in the management of glaucoma. This may include gentle office-based laser therapy to improve the efficiency of the drainage system of the eye in order to lower eye pressure (selective laser trabeculoplasty), laser treatment to reduce the amount of fluid that the eye produces (cyclodiode laser) or creating a small opening in the iris (laser iridotomy) in order to prevent the development of acute closed-angle glaucoma.

    iStent

    The iStent is a one millimetre implant that is inserted into the natural drainage channel of the eye to help lower eye pressure and reduce the need for medications. suitable for patients with mild-to-moderate open-angle glaucoma who are going to have cataract surgery and wish to reduce their need for glaucoma medications. 

    XEN Glaucoma Implant

    The XEN Implant is placed in your eye to make a new permanent pathway to allow excess fluid to drain from inside the eye into a small "bleb" under the outer membrane covering the eye under the upper eyelid. The procedure to insert the XEN Implant is faster, more straightforward, and less invasive than traditional operations for glaucoma and allows further glaucoma surgery to be performed if necessary in the future.The procedure can be performed alone or combined with cataract surgery. The XEN Implant is injected through a small self-sealing incision in the clear part of the eye using a special injector and the procedure takes approximately 10 minutes. 

    Trabeculectomy ("Filtration Surgery")

    Trabeculectomy is an operation which creates a trapdoor in the outer coat of the eye, allowing the fluid within the eye to slowly diffuse and become reabsorbed through a "bleb" which sits beneath the upper eyelid. This procedure results in a significant lowering of eye pressure with 80% of patients not requiring any drops to lower their eye pressure at 2 years. A major challenge with this operation is managing the human body's ability to heal and therefore anti-scarring medications are usually applied during and sometimes after surgery. The operation takes under an hour and is usually performed as a day case procedure under local anaesthesia. Patients usually require 5-6 outpatient visits after surgery in order to ensure optimal long term results.

    Aqueous Shunt or "Tube" Surgery

    Tubes or aqueous shunts are drainage devices also that redirect the flow of fluid from the front of the eye. The tube is connected to a plate stitched onto the white of the eye further back than where a trabeculectomy is performed. This approach usually offers improved long-term outcomes in eyes where trabeculectomies have not been successful. Tube surgery is the preferred intervention for eyes which have a risk of trabeculectomy failure.

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