Tube Shunt

Background

Glaucoma is a disease in which elevation of eye pressure causes damage to the nerve and subsequent loss of vision. The condition can usually be managed with drops and in office laser treatment. In more advanced cases, surgical treatment is necessary to control the pressure and preserve vision.

Procedure

 A tube shunt is a flexible drainage device implanted on the external eye wall (sclera). A tube is then inserted into the internal cavity of the eye. Aqueous (eye fluid) is then drained into an external reservoir. The fluid is then absorbed by the external eye veins.


The tube shunt is made of silicone and covered with the eyes external lining. The surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia.

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Outcomes

The majority of patients experience a reduction in eye pressure and preservation of vision following tube shunt surgery and trabeculectomy.

Complications

Complications include loss of vision, bleeding, infection, corneal edema, cataract, ocular misalignment causing double vision, low eye pressure, or serous choroidal detachment. Serious complications are uncommon but do require careful management and close follow up.

Conclusion

Glaucoma can cause permanent loss of vision. Topical drops and laser treatment are usually adequate to lower eye pressure and preserve vision. In more advanced cases, surgical treatment is necessary to control the disease. Glaucoma tube shunt implant and trabeculectomy are effective techniques to lower eye pressure in selected patients.