For some patients with glaucoma, surgical intervention may be a necessary part of treatment. Traditionally, surgery has included trabeculectomy, the removal of part of the eye’s trabecular meshwork and adjacent tissues, or the placement of tube shunts. For the most part, these techniques work, but glaucoma specialists are developing less invasive procedures. The thought of having a surgical procedure on your eye can be a very scary concept. Thankfully, there are new options on the horizon, which may help reduce the number of traditional surgeries while increasing effectiveness.
A New Type Of Stent
Researchers at the University of Southern California’s Roski Eye Institute have come up with an effective alternative to traditional surgery in the form of a new type of collagen-derived gelatin stent that is no wider than a human hair. This is good news for a number of reasons:
- It is substantially less complicated than traditional surgery
- It is injected into the eye
- The treatment only takes a few minutes
- Recovery is faster and much easier
This new treatment would take the form of a shot that could be handled in the doctor’s office, resulting in minimal discomfort and recovery time. What’s more, it would begin to work quickly while reducing the need for eye drops with the same effectiveness as traditional procedures. For patients disappointed with the results of traditional surgical remedies, or who need a truly minimally-invasive procedure, this could soon be a viable answer.
According to Rohit Varma, MD, MPH, the XEN implantable device would be especially helpful for patients whose intraocular pressure failed to be reduced by traditional surgery. He also said that the XEN will offer a new treatment option for patients with primary open angle glaucoma, pseudoexfoliative or pigmentary glaucoma with open angles that are unresponsive to maximum tolerated medical therapy.1