Filtering Microsurgery: Trabeculectomy:
A standard surgical procedure for open-angle glaucoma, a tiny drainage channel is made in the sclera (the white part of the eye) in a procedure called trabeculectomy. The new drainage channel allows fluid to flow out of the eye and helps lower eye pressure, preventing or reducing damage to the optic nerve.
After eye drops are used to numb the eye, a laser is applied to the drainage tissue, starting a biological change in the tissue that results in better drainage of fluid. This procedure takes about 5 -10 minutes, there are no patches required and there are no restrictions in post-laser activities.
Most patients can drive themselves to the procedure and are able to carry on normal activities immediately afterward. This advanced laser treatment does not have the associated damage to other tissues or adverse scarring effects that the first generation Argon laser did. For this reason, SLT can be repeated multiple times to relieve eye pressure if necessary.
This procedure uses breakthrough microcatheter technology to enlarge your eye’s natural drainage system, similar to angioplasty. Dr. Derick was one of the first doctors in the country to perform this groundbreaking glaucoma treatment procedure. A small incision is made in the eye and then a canaloplasty microcatheter is inserted into the eye’s drainage system canal. Using the microcatheter, Dr. Derick will circle the canal and enlarge it, helping fluid to drain properly. The microcatheter is removed and a suture is placed within the canal to keep it open, restoring your eye’s natural drainage system and lowering your eye’s pressure.
The smallest medical device ever approved by the FDA, an iStent is placed in a patient’s eye during cataract surgery and is so small that a patient cannot see or feel it after the procedure is over. Dr. Derick was one of the first ophthalmologists in the stateto perform this cutting-edge procedure and remains an early adopter. The iStent was designed to create a permanent opening in the trabecular meshwork of the eye and works to improve the outflow of fluid, helping to control eye pressure. If you have both cataracts and glaucoma, the iStent procedure may be right for you.
Smaller than a grain of rice, this filtration device relieves high eye pressure in patients with open-angle glaucoma when drops and other surgical treatments have been unsuccessful. Placed between the inner and outer layers of the eye, the Ex-Press Shunt bypasses the eye’s damaged drainage system, allowing excess fluid to drain and reducing eye pressure.
Dr. Robert Derick has been an innovator and leading instigator for a number of innovative glaucoma procedures. Fellowship-trained at The John Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute, he was one of the first surgeons in the country and the state of Ohio to perform many of these cutting-edge procedures and continues to be a leader in this field.
A member of the American Glaucoma Society for over two decades and a board member of the Glaucoma Research Foundation, Dr. Derick has performed tens of thousands of glaucoma surgeries during his tenure at COA. You can learn about glaucoma by visiting the Glaucoma Research Foundation website.