Three types of surgery, the Trabectome procedure, Trabeculectomy and Tube Shunt surgery, are currently the gold standard.
As one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide, glaucoma is a serious condition usually treated with eyedrops, laser, surgery, or a combination of all three. Outlined below are some of the surgical techniques that Dr. Kurt Schwiesow, a fellowship trained glaucoma specialist, uses to treat glaucoma.
The Trabectome procedure involves removing a section of tissue from the drain of the eye, effectively clearing much of the blockage that causes high eye pressure. The entire procedure takes ten minutes or less to perform through a small incision similar to what is used for cataract surgery. Patients can return to work and other normal activities the next day with little to no side effects or scarring. For the majority of glaucoma patients in need of surgery, the Trabectome procedure presents a safe and effective option. Tower Clock Eye Center is proud to be the first practice in Wisconsin certified to perform the Trabectome procedure for the treatment of glaucoma.
During a trabeculectomy, a “trapdoor” is created in the wall of the eye at the edge of the cornea (the clear front of the eye). Under this trapdoor, a small channel is created in the wall of the eye. The trapdoor is then secured using one or more sutures, which allows fluid to leave the eye in a controlled manner. The fluid then drains into a small bleb, or blister, that forms just under the skin that covers the eye. Typically the entire surgery is hidden under the upper eyelid. Although trabeculectomy was first developed over 30 years ago, our surgeons are trained in the latest techniques allowing for safer and more effective surgery.
During placement of a tube shunt or drainage device, a plastic reservoir is attached to the wall of the eye under the upper eyelid. From this device, a small flexible plastic tube runs forward through the wall of the eye which allows fluid to drain to the reservoir. The device is then covered by donor tissue to prevent erosion or exposure. Our doctors are trained to implant both Ahmed and Baerveldt drainage devices – currently the most widely used and effective devices available.
iStent is the world’s smallest medical device and is simple and elegant in its function. It is designed to manage mild-to-moderate open-angle glaucoma at the same time as cataract surgery. iStent is 20,000 times smaller than the intraocular lenses (IOL) used in cataract surgery, but that is only part of the story. iStent is a permanent stent similar to those used to prevent heart attacks and strokes, but this implant helps drain excess eye fluid and reduce pressure in the eye. iStent is both safe and effective, and many patients who choose it will have a reduced dependence on glaucoma eyedrop medications.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (920) 499-3102 or toll free at (877) 693-9363 (877 MY EYE MD).