When discussing new technologies in the treatment of glaucoma, there are new advances and technological procedures on the horizon and new options for those wishing to opt out of glaucoma surgery.
Physicians who have normally completed surgical approaches to correct glaucoma and its complications are adopting new approaches. Glaucoma treatment is no simple matter, and the slow course this disease takes makes it difficult for researchers and developers of new surgical and non-surgical approaches to determine which procedures patients are apt to fare better from. It can take many years of research and countless studies to achieve any degree of certainty as to what may actually benefit a patient. The most common surgeries for glaucoma patients include shunts and trabeculectomy. These surgeries often come with potentially risky outcomes, and whatever vision the patient does have is often threatened. Although these standard surgeries have risks, they also have established outcomes, more to the positive side than the negative. But there are alternatives for those seeking less risky treatments, however the long term effectiveness is not as well proven.
One of these new treatments is called the Ex-Press mini glaucoma shunt. It can be used along with a conventional trabeculectomy and is used to reduce eye pressure getting too low in the immediate post-operative period. This is sometimes problematic with conventional trabeculectomy procedures. A second new procedure, a Canaloplasty, is a dilation of the entrance to the outflow of the wall of the eye, and in addition, an artificial mechanism that produces artificial fluid outflow within the wall can also lower pressure within the eye. The third new technique, a Trabectome device removes tissue from a drain inside of the eye by using an electrosurgical handpiece that interrupts the tissue for removal.
For each of these techniques there are potential advantages, but all are still in earlier stages and their effectiveness is still being determined despite many positive reports. Before considering one of these procedures, you must consult with your physician and are better suited if you are not already in an advanced state of the disease. Be sure to ask your physician if you are qualified and what your outcomes are before considering any new procedure.