Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide and affects more than 3 million Americans. Initial glaucoma treatment consists of eye drops to the lower intraocular pressure (IOP) or a laser procedure called Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT). Unfortunately, in many glaucoma patients, these therapies are not enough. Traditionally, glaucoma surgeons then proceed to a trabeculectomy or an aqueous tube shunt to manually create a new eye drainage system. These procedures do effectively lower the IOP, especially in more advanced glaucoma.
Increased IOP in glaucoma is due to resistance in our eye’s natural drainage system called the Trabecular Meshwork (TM). The TM acts like a ‘sink’ that drains fluid from our eyes into eye veins, which then drain into the rest of our body. In glaucoma, the TM gets ‘clogged’ and the fluid overflows causing an increase in IOP.
Rather than creating a new drainage system in less advanced glaucoma, glaucoma surgeons across the world are adopting newer technologies called MIGS that enhance our existing drainage system. MIGS are less invasive, have fewer side effects, and are much shorter surgeries than trabeculectomies and aqueous tube shunts. Three FDA approved devices that are employed today are iStent® by Glaucos, XEN® Gel Stent by Allergan, and CyPass® Micro-Stent by Alcon. These devices are approved for use in mild-moderate glaucoma.
All the MIGS devices attempt to bypass the ‘clog’ in the TM. The iStent® creates a passage directly through the TM allowing fluid to flow without resistance to the remainder of the eye’s natural drainage system. On the other hand, the CyPass® Micro-Stent and XEN® Gel Stent divert fluid away from the TM altogether and create channels that connect directly to the eye veins.
Dr. Faridi has been performing MIGS procedures since 2012, which is when the first MIGS procedure was FDA approved. MIGS procedures can all be combined with cataract surgery, lowering the IOP and improving the vision at the same time. Dr. Faridi will tailor your glaucoma treatment, providing you with the appropriate MIGS procedure when needed for your eye.
For more information on glaucoma, glaucoma surgeries, or other services, please contact us at (203) 878-1236 in any one of our 4 offices in Milford, Orange, Branford, or Shelton. We are looking forward to hearing from you soon.