Canaloplasty and Glaucoma | New Surgical Procedure for Glaucoma Patients
Canaloplasty and Glaucoma: Canaloplasty is an advanced, non-penetrating, new surgical procedure designed to enhance and restore the eye’s natural drainage system to provide sustained reduction of IOP (eye pressure). Many eye surgeons and physicians have adopted Canaloplasty because it utilizes breakthrough microcatheter technology in a simple and minimally invasive procedure designed to reduce eye pressure, unlike the older procedures it is supplanting.
Glaucoma has been nicknamed “the sneak thief of sight.” It is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Glaucoma cannot be cured, and vision loss cannot be regained. But, it is possible to slow the progression of glaucoma and potentially halt further loss of vision.
A clear fluid, called aqueous humor, fills the front of your eye and provides nourishment to the tissues. Like the air in a balloon, the aqueous also provides pressure to help maintain the shape of the eye.
In most types of glaucoma, the eye’s natural drainage system loses function and the fluid inside the eye cannot drain. This lack of drainage causes an elevation of pressure within the eye. This increase in intraocular pressure (IOP) has demonstrated the ability to exert pressure on the optic nerve and result in vision loss.
Vision loss can have a very serious impact on one’s quality of life. Many people with glaucoma cannot drive a car safely, see their grandkids on the soccer field, or view the world as they once did. The first sign of glaucoma is often the loss of peripheral or side vision. To prevent this from happening, it is essential to lower your IOP.
How is a canaloplasty performed?
To perform a canaloplasty, your doctor will create a tiny incision to gain access to a canal in the eye.
A microcatheter will circumnavigate the canal around your iris, enlarging the main drainage channel and its smaller collector channels through the injection of a sterile, gel-like material called viscoelastic. The catheter is then removed and a suture is placed within the canal and tightened. This tightened suture ensures that the canal remains open. By opening the canal, the pressure inside your eye will be relieved.
What are the benefits of canaloplasty?
A canaloplasty procedure might be the optimal choice for patients whose medications aren’t working but who aren’t quite ready to take on the risks of surgery. It may also be optimal for patients whose medications are working but who are frustrated with the frequency of dosing.
Canaloplasty benefits compared to traditional glaucoma treatments:
- Potential reduction or elimination of medications and the associated costs
- Less risk of post-operative complications versus penetrating surgical alternatives
- Does not eliminate the possibility of future treatment alternatives
- Reduced scarring
Click play to watch an animated explanation of the procedure:
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