Treatment & Surgery
Glaucoma can be treated with medications and surgery. These methods can help reduce further vision loss but they cannot reverse any damage that has already occurred. The primary benefit of these treatments is to control eye pressure so as to decrease the risk of additional damage to the optic nerve.
There are many eye drops available to treat glaucoma. They lower pressure by either decreasing the production of fluid in the eye or by improving the drainage of the fluid from the eye. Our glaucoma specialists will work with you to determine which eye drop(s) will be best for the management of your glaucoma.
Laser Trabeculoplasty is an in-office laser procedure that is used to treat open-angle glaucoma by lowering eye pressure. During this procedure, a laser targets the drainage system to help improve drainage of fluid from the eye. This is a painless procedure that takes approximately 2 minutes and is often used to lower the eye pressure sufficiently. If the laser is successful, it may reduce the need to use daily eye drops. There are two types of lasers utilized by Chester County Eye Care for trabeculoplasty: Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) and MicroPulse Laser Trabeculoplasty (MLT). SLT and MLT have subtle differences, but similar efficacy for lowering intraocular pressure.
Filtration surgery, also known as a trabeculectomy, is an outpatient surgical procedure that is performed in our surgery center. During this procedure, a new drainage canal is created to help drain fluid from the eye, bypassing the original clogged drainage canals. This surgery is performed when eye drops and laser surgery have not been successful at controlling eye pressure. Often, a small stent may be placed to aid in the fluid drainage.
Tube Shunt Surgery
Tube shunt surgery is an outpatient surgery that is performed when filtration surgery, or trabeculectomy, has already been done and was not successful. It can also be utilized as a first line surgical intervention for certain types of glaucoma. In this surgery, a tube is implanted in the eye that drains to an extraocular reservoir. This allows fluid to leave the eye through the tube and results in reduced eye pressure to help control your glaucoma.
iStent® Trabecular Micro-Bypass
iStent® Trabecular Micro-Bypass is an innovative new surgery that is performed during cataract surgery on patients who have mild to moderate open-angle glaucoma. The world’s smallest medical device, the iStent® is similar to the stents that are used for heart attacks and strokes. It is placed in the drainage system to create a permanent opening. This will help improve the flow of fluid out of the eye which leads to lower eye pressure. Once the iStent® is implanted, it is so small in size that you will not be able to see or feel it. Always using the most advanced technology in glaucoma treatment, one of our ophthalmologists was the first in Chester County to perform this advanced surgery. The glaucoma specialists at Chester County Eye Care, Dr. Cristan Arena, Dr. Gregory Oldham, and Dr. Brian Shafer, utilize this new technology and can offer this to patients in conjunction with their cataract surgery for improved intraocular pressure control.