The Ahmed valve is a form of treatment for glaucoma that is particularly beneficial for those patients not responding to medication or surgical intervention. Used to regulate ocular pressure levels, the Ahmed valve is a tube system that drains excess fluid from the eye. The fluid flows through the valve and out of the eye into a reservoir where it can be safely absorbed by surrounding tissue. It is implanted within the outer portion of the eye, but covered by conjunctival tissue so it is not visible to others or felt by the patient.
Proven for both consistency and long-term effectiveness, the Ahmed valve self adjusts depending on the level of fluid in the eye. It was designed to ensure that no excessive drainage of fluid can take place. Once the valve has been implanted, most patients can reduce or stop taking their glaucoma medications, according to their physician’s instructions.
The Ahmed valve is implanted in an outpatient procedure performed after the patient has received a local anesthetic. The surgery takes approximately one hour. Afterward, patients will require eye drops to relieve discomfort and swelling in the eye. Follow-up appointments with your surgeon are essential to measure ocular pressure and determine whether any minor adjustments to the valve are necessary.
Barrier Laser for Retinal Tear
Early detection of a retinal tear can often prevent the retina from detaching through prompt treatment. Many retinal tears are treated with a barrier laser procedure. This method of treatment is used to create a scar around the tear, sealing the retina to the wall of the eye. Fluid is then prevented from traveling through the retinal tear causing a retinal detachment.
A barrier laser procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. Anesthetic eye drops or a local anesthetic is provided for the patient’s comfort. The laser beam is directed to the retinal tissue surrounding the tear to produce a barrier of scar tissue. This can reduce the risk of vision loss, a major complication of retinal detachment. It is a noninvasive form of treatment that usually takes less than 30 minutes to perform. Normal activities may be resumed with the surgeon’s approval.
While a tear may have been repaired in one part of the retina it does not prevent another one from developing in another area of the retina. It is important to have regular eye examinations so that the condition may be monitored.
If the eyelids begin sagging into the field of vision, a functional blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, may become necessary. This procedure can be covered by medical insurance if it is visually significant. Dr. Lee can determine this by checking the peripheral visual field with an instrument called the Humphrey Visual Field (HVF) Analyzer.
An upper blepharoplasty will tighten the muscles and tissue as well as remove excess fat and skin from the upper eyelids. This can eliminate the drooping of the skin into the visual field, improving peripheral vision tremendously.
Cosmetic blepharoplasty can be performed on the upper or lower eyelid or both. If no skin needs to be removed, a transconjunctival blepharoplasty can be performed, in which the incision is made inside the lower eyelid and there are no visible scars. This procedure has no effect on vision, but offers a younger, more refreshed look that reflects across the whole face.
Canaloplasty is a relatively new, advanced procedure used for patients with open-angle glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma, causing the fluid in the eye to drain too slowly through the network of tiny drainage channels and increasing pressure within the eye. Canaloplasty is a minimally invasive treatment that can substantially reduce eye pressure.
During a canaloplasty, the surgeon will make a tiny incision in order to insert either a microcatheter or thin, flexible tube into the eye. The tubing is directed to the main drainage canal, which is where healthy eyes naturally drain. A sterile, surgical material called viscoelastic is introduced to the drainage channels to expand them. A suture is then placed in the canal and tightly tied, which serves to maintain the canal in an open position. The entire procedure typically lasts about 45 minutes.
After a canaloplasty, most patients’ dependence on glaucoma medication is greatly reduced, according to their physician’s instructions. You will be permitted to return home soon after the procedure is done. Most normal activities can typically be resumed a few days later. This safe treatment method provides a faster recovery period and lower risk of complications than traditional glaucoma procedures such as trabeculectomy.
Your eye has a clear lens through which light passes, allowing you to see. When the lens loses its transparency, the cloudy tissue that develops is known as a cataract. Cataracts affect millions of people each year, including more than half of all Americans over the age of 60. Cloudiness develops as a result of a buildup of protein in the lens. Over the course of time, cataracts cause a progressive, painless loss of vision. Cataracts can occur in either one eye or both eyes.