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This page will provide you with information about glaucoma surgery. For further details, you should speak to your consultant.
What is glaucoma?
The optic nerve is responsible for transmitting visual information from the retina in the eye to the brain (see figure 1). Glaucoma is a condition that causes damage to the optic nerve at the point where it leaves the eye, typically as a result of a build-up of pressure in the eye where fluid has not drained properly. Sometimes, however, it is possible for the optic nerve to be damaged even if the pressure within the eye is normal.
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There are different varieties of glaucoma, all of which can cause possible loss of vision. It is estimated that 1 in 50 people aged 40 are affected by the condition. The goal of glaucoma surgery is to limit the chances of further optic nerve damage.
Is surgery the only option?
There are possible alternatives to glaucoma surgery. First, if there is high pressure in the eye, this can be treated with eye drops. Laser treatment may be offered as an alternative; however this is not as effective as glaucoma surgery. Micro-stent surgery is another option for glaucoma treatment, where a small gel tube is implanted in the eye so relieve pressure.
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT)
Selective laser trabeculoplasty is a form of laser used to lower the pressure in the eye for glaucoma or ocular hypertension. It is used when the eye drop medications are not lowering the pressure enough or when the medications used are causing side effects.
What is Micro Stent Surgery?
The Xen Gel Stent is a tiny gel tube the size of an eyelash that is inserted into the eye. The device is placed just under the conjunctiva, which is the clear membrane that covers the white of your eye, allowing fluid to drain away therefore reducing the pressure.
Because the stent is made of gel, when it’s inserted into the eye it becomes soft and flexible and is designed to stay in the eye permanently.
The gel stent is a surgical management option for patients suffering with refractory glaucoma’s and can be performed for patients where previous surgery has been unsuccessful
Close up view of Xen Gel Stent
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References: EIDO Healthcare Limited – The operation and treatment information on this website is produced using information from EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by Aspen Healthcare.
The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.