Trabectome procedure for glaucoma

Glaucoma is a devastating disease that harms the eye without manifesting early signs or symptoms.

Since people can have glaucoma and not even know it, this disorder has been called “ the silent thief of sight. ” Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness and vision impairment affecting approximately 3 million Americans, and 69 million people worldwide. Anyone can develop glaucoma, but those at higher risk for developing the disease include African-Americans and Hispanics over age 40; everyone over age 60, and people with a family history of the disease. A damaging and progressive optic nerve disease, glaucoma is marked by elevated pressure inside the eye. The most common form of glaucoma is primary open angle, which results in gradual loss of vision.

Regular eye exams can help detect early-stage glaucoma. Once diagnosed, a patient can select from traditional medical approaches such as multi-drug therapy, lasers, and extensive surgical interventions. Or they can choose an innovative treatment called Trabectome.

Trabectome(R) is a minimally invasive procedure. Developed by NeoMedix of Tustin, California, this FDA-cleared device typically reduces intra-ocular pressure (IOP) without the aid of mechanical implants or shunts. By gently removing a portion of the patient ' s clogged tissue (the trabecular meshwork) Trabectome re-establishes access to the eye ' s natural drainage pathway.

The Trabectome treatment, which is virtually pain and trauma-free, is performed by glaucoma specialists as a convenient out-patient procedure. It is used in leading and prestigious ophthalmic centers across the United States and Canada — including the Mayo Clinic, Mass Eye and Ear (Harvard), Wilmer Eye Institute (Johns Hopkins), New York Eye and Ear, Scripps Health Institute in San Diego, and many others.

“The Trabectome procedure provides a safer surgical alternative to the high-risk filtering procedures and tube shunt devices currently employed, ” says Dr. Sameh Mosaed, assistant professor of ophthalmology, University of California, Irvine.

And according to Dr. David Marshall of The Ottawa Hospital in Ottawa, Canada: “ Trabectome can lower pressures into the mid teens and reduce the patient ' s reliance on glaucoma medications without subjecting the eye to the risks of trabeculectomy. In addition, post operative follow-up is easier; fewer follow-up visits are needed. ”

Currently, patients visit one of 41 Trabectome locations for this surgery by glaucoma specialists and continue to be monitored thereafter.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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