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Glaucoma

glaucoma treatment

Assessment and day-case surgical treatment of glaucoma is available privately at The Edinburgh Clinic, within our calming, unique and quality day-case clinical environment.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is the name given to a group of conditions that cause damage to the eye, in part related to high intraocular pressure (eye pressure). This damage can cause patchy loss of vision that varies in severity, and can result in blindness. Glaucoma can lead to deterioration in peripheral vision, as the below series of images illustrates.

Glaucoma is the name given to a group of conditions that cause damage to the eye, in part related to high intraocular pressure (eye pressure). This damage can cause patchy loss of vision that varies in severity, and can result in blindness. Glaucoma can lead to deterioration in peripheral vision, as the below series of images illustrates.

Treatment

At our Edinburgh Eye Clinic our consultant ophthalmic surgeons use advanced techniques to diagnose glaucoma. If your consultant recommends that you be treated for glaucoma, the type of treatment will depend on the severity of your condition. Some cases may simply require eye drops, while others will be suitable for laser or conventional surgery.

  • The common types of surgery and laser treatments available to treat glaucoma are:
  • Trabeculectomy: also called 'filtration surgery'. During this procedure, your surgeon removes a piece of tissue from the eye's trabecular meshwork to allow drainage of fluid (aqueous humor) from the eye
  • YAG peripheral iridotomy: an iridotomy is a small hole created with the laser beam in the outer part of the iris (coloured part of the eye), that is used to treat or prevent a sudden rise in pressure inside the eye (acute glaucoma). The iridotomy allows fluid to circulate freely within the eye minimising the risk of a sight‐threatening pressure rise
  • Selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT): during this out-patient procedure your surgeon uses a slit lamp to examine your eye. This slit lamp also contains an SLT laser. The aim of this procedure is to reduce pressure within the eye by using a focussed laser beam of light to selectively remove certain cells containing melanin to improve the drainage angle of the eye
  • Tube-shunt surgery: this procedure is typically carried out if trabeculectomy has failed, and aims to reduce pressure within the eye by improving drainage. Tube surgery involves placing a flexible plastic tube with an attached silicone drainage pouch in the eye to help drain fluid from the eye.

Most importantly, with glaucoma conditions, early stage diagnosis, treatment and repeated testing is effective in preventing glaucoma blindness, which is why the International Glaucoma Association advises early and regular testing.

iStent

Glaucoma is the most common cause of irreversible blindness. Minimally invaisive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) offers the opportunity to lower intraocular pressure, preserve vision and reduce the need for eye drops. Dr Andrew Tatham is now able to provide the iStent procedure for patients with glaucoma at The Edinburgh Clinic. This safe procedure, which is often performed at the same time as cataract surgery, involves inserting a small titanium tube into the drainage channel of the eye. It offers the chance to lower intraocular pressure and reduce the need for glaucoma eye drops.

CyPass

The CyPass stent is another option for treating Glaucoma.  The stent itself is tiny and once implanted, patients can recover faster with vision restored within a matter of days.  Using minimally invasive keyhole surgery, the 6mm plastic stent, no bigger than an eyelash, is placed directly into the eye to drain fluid and alleviate pressure on the optic nerve. The procedure can be combined with cataract surgery with the stent inserted in just five minutes.  Patients can be fully awake with a local anaesthetic and released from the Clinic the same day.

Find out more from Dr Andrew Tatham in this short video

 

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