Glaucoma, a condition that causes damage to the eye’s optic nerve, is often associated with a buildup of pressure inside the eye. In a healthy eye, aqueous humor (the clear fluid that makes up the front of the eye) helps to maintain the shape of the eye through intraocular pressure (or IOP).
However, for someone suffering from glaucoma, this system does not work properly and the fluid cannot drain properly. Without treatment (managing treatment as there is no cure for glaucoma), the high pressure on the optic nerve will cause permanent vision loss – possibly within only a few years.
To stop further vision loss, dropping the IOP is crucial.
Traditionally, a trabeculectomy has been the most common surgery used to help lower pressure. In trabeculectomy, a surgeon creates a hole in the sclera of a patient’s eye to let the aqueous fluid drain into the outer cyst or bleb. While trabeculectomy is still the standard procedure, there can be risks such as infection, leakage, and irritation associated and canaloplasty lessens these risks.
What Is Canaloplasty?
Canaloplasty is a newer, more advanced form of surgery for the management of glaucoma, and is just one of the available glaucoma treatments. The advancement of canaloplasty makes it possible to reduce eye pressure by almost 40%. Most glaucoma patients make use of special eye drops to help their eyesight.
However, with canaloplasty, patients have been able to cut their drops by half.
How Canaloplasty Surgery Is Performed
Canaloplasty uses a micro-catheter in order to open the eye’s natural drainage system (known as a Schlemm’s canal). This canal is opened using a gel-like material. Then the catheter is removed and a suture is threaded through Schlemm’s canal and then tied down to the inner wall of the canal. This suture can keep the canal stretched open for years. Once opened, the pressure buildup caused by the eye’s fluid can exit more naturally.
Canaloplasty surgery is a good option if:
- You suffer from open-angle glaucoma
- Glaucoma drops are inconvenient, difficult, or costly
- Medications have stopped working
- You are uncertain about invasive glaucoma surgery
And some of the benefits of canaloplasty include the following:
- Restores the eye’s natural drainage system
- Reduces pressure in the eye
- Reduces the need for glaucoma drops
- Quicker recovery than previous treatment(s)
Continue reading for more information about canaloplasty and other glaucoma surgery options today. And to discuss your individual condition, please contact us today to schedule an appointment.