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Novel glaucoma implant to reduce surgery rates

CERA researchers are developing a sophisticated surgical device aimed at reducing the number of glaucoma operations.

image-tools (30)Glaucoma is typically caused by high intraocular pressure, a result of a blockage in the eye’s drainage system.

Glaucoma filtration surgery is generally performed as a last resort, when other therapies to lower the eye’s pressure have been exhausted.

Principal Investigator Dr Michael Coote said the drainage device is expected to improve on 40-year-old current surgical methods.

“Glaucoma filtration surgery is a complex operation. Unfortunately complications and excessive scarring can lead to some patients requiring multiple surgeries,” Dr Coote said.

According to Dr Coote, the device will resemble a tube and will be fitted comfortably into a sealed pocket under the lid of the eye during surgery.

“We aim to develop a device that mirrors the eye’s natural hydraulics,” Dr Coote said.

“Made from a porous polymer material, the device will aid the flow of fluid from the anterior chamber, located behind the iris, to the surrounding tissue.”

“Maintaining safe levels of fluid in the eye will limit post-operative scarring, reduce the need for future surgery and improve a patient’s long-term visual outcomes.”

“We also predict the device will simplify glaucoma surgery and lead to safer and more predictable outcomes.”

The device is being developed by a team from CERA and the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital.

It’s anticipated the device will be trialled in humans at the end of 2012.