The Shunt Surgery
Sometimes, medicated eye drops don’t work in lowering Intraocular Pressure (IoP) and in this case, doctor probably encourages glaucoma filtration surgery. The traditional surgical procedure is known as trabeculectomy that has been around for more than 30-years and performed by making a tiny slit in the sclera (white of the eye) through which the fluid exits.
An advanced treatment is known as Ex-Press Mini Glaucoma Shunt which is an alternative to repeated trabeculectomy or a larger silicone tube shunt. Mini shunt is just the size of a rice grain with a branch-like extension at one end and an external disc at another. It’s a simple process to filtrate open-angle glaucoma and reducing the intraocular pressure by diverting aqueous humour from the front of the eye chamber.
Mini shunt is made up of stainless steel and placed in the eye’s anterior under a scleral flap. A controlled amount of fluid is released through a small tube outside of the eye which rectifies the IOP and drainage region is covered by the eyelid thereby invisible. This advanced treatment for glaucoma in Abu Dhabi is considered fastest and safest however, only recommended after careful examination of the doctor.
The surgeon will review your recent medications and suggest accordingly. In case someone’s taking blood thinners like aspirin, it would need to be checked almost two weeks prior to the surgical procedure. It’s likely that the surgeon would stop you from taking blood thinners and advise when it’d be safe to resume.
During the surgery
Mini shunt surgery is performed after administering local or general anaesthesia. The surgeon would then deploy the injection system to implant the shunt. A metallic rod is then fitted to the shunt’s lumen while the other end is hooked to an injector.
A flap to the sclera would be introduced through which the shunt is angled, injector is then depressed and the metal shaft is positioned in the eye. The scleral opening and overlying conjunctiva is then sutured by the surgeon.
It takes more or less 45-minutes for the procedure to complete after which the patient is allowed to resume normal routine within least seven days post-surgery.
Post Shunt Surgery
Shunt Surgery is an outpatient procedure and most of the patients are released the same day following operation but, you’d need someone to drive you home and assist indoors as well. It’s unlikely of the patient to experience any pain post shunt surgery for glaucoma in Dubai except for minor discomfort mostly from the soluble sutures. Follow-up at the doctor is usual immediately in a day post-surgery which is then extended to a week and month; depending on recovery.
Antibiotics, anti-inflammatory and laxatives are prescribed at times to soothe discomfort in the eye as well as for safe recovery.