Dr. Nalini Madiwale, an ophthalmologist with Albany-Troy Cataract & Laser Associates, claimed to have found a new type of treatment for glaucoma called canaloplasty. In the process, doctors make the internal drainage canal wide by passing a fiber-optic tube through it, like a stent, and injecting a soft gel substance in it to reopen the system without creating an artificial pathway.
Unlike the previous surgeries, the new one includes:
a. easier postoperative recovery,
b. fewer postoperative complications,
c. decreased chances of fluid collection in the back of the eye,
d. decreased major chances of bleeding or infection.
The surgery takes about an hour-and-a-half. Patients are patched overnight and see the doctor the next day. If vision permits, people can drive in a week. Patients are asked to use drops for a few weeks.
Doctors say the best candidates for canaloplasty are people who have mild to moderate glaucoma. Age is not a concern.
However, Madiwale who learned the procedure last summer in Boston and Toronto, said that canaloplasty is not a cure for glaucoma. He also added that the operation is more difficult to do than the trabeculectomy.
Trabeculectomy is a surgical procedure used in the treatment of glaucoma to relieve intraocular pressure by removing part of the eye's trabecula and adjacent structures. It is the most common glaucoma surgery performed and allows drainage of aqueous humor from within the eye to underneath the conjunctiva where it is absorbed.
So far Madiwale has used canaloplasty on one 85-year-old man, and the patient is doing well. Because the procedure is new and recently approved, doctors only have follow-up information of about one year.
Source: Daily Gazette