New surgical procedure slows progression of glaucoma - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

New surgical procedure slows progression of glaucoma

Glaucoma leads to irreversible vision loss. It is the second leading cause of blindness but canaloplasty, a new surgical procedure can help slow down its progression.

 "What's good about canaloplasty," said Ophthalmologist Dr. Christopher Cooley, "Is that the risk profile is much better than some of the other glaucoma procedures in the past."

A series of drops helps control eye pressure in some people, for a long time, but when it can't, surgery is the next option. The newly FDA approved procedure is Cooley's preferred method of treatment.

"With canaloplasty, we are not creating a hole in the eye. What we are actually doing, is augmenting the natural drainage angle of the eye."

In glaucoma the eyes drainage system doesn't work, fluid build up puts pressure on the optic nerve and eventually destroys vision. In traditional surgery Doctors penetrate the eye creating a hole to reduce the pressure, in canaloplasty it is completely different.

"We are able to isolate that large canal, which collects the fluid from inside the eye, when we isolate that we can take a small catheter and dialate that channel opening it up so more fluid can freely come out."

The biggest risk is that occasionally it is not effective. However, for most, the days of taking several kinds of eyes drops each day are over. Patients with open angled glaucoma that have not had any other eye surgeries are the best candidates for canaloplasty.

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