Medication and laser surgeries may not always be effective enough for treatment of glaucoma; therefore, at times, your doctor may recommend what is called glaucoma filtration surgery. The traditional glaucoma filtration surgery is called trabeculectomy. In this operation, a small flap is made in the wall of the eye (sclera) to create an opening or new filtering pathway for the fluid to exit the eye. After this, a small section of the iris is excised (cut out) to ensure the fluid pathway will not be blocked. Trabeculectomy surgery has been done for the past 30 years.
A newer technique involves using the Ex-PRESS ophthalmic glaucoma device or shunt as an adjunct to the widely accepted trabeculectomy surgery. The Ex-PRESS shunt has been available in the U.S. since 2002, and Dr Clark has experience with it since its inception. The shunt is used to direct fluid through the alternative pathway created by an extremely small tube to the outside of the eye. This is placed under a protective flap identical to the opening created for a trabeculectomy.
Ex-PRESS shunt in the eye
You should consult your doctor about the benefits and risks of the Ex-PRESS ophthalmic glaucoma device.