Canaloplasty (pronounced Kah-NAL-oh-plas-tee) is a new glaucoma treatment that gives many people with this potentially blinding condition the hope of saving the vision they have. Canaloplasty can reduce pressure in the eye (IOP) by nearly 40%, and many glaucoma patients who have had Canaloplasty no longer need medications. This “minimally invasive” procedure is available alone or can be done with cataract extraction (phacocanaloplasty).
It is a “non-penetrating” surgical procedure that does not require creation of a fistula nor result in a “bleb” such as with traditional trabeculectomy surgery. Insertion of a micro-catheter into Schlemm’s canal (the eye’s internal drainage duct) facilitates exit of eye fluid through the natural outflow. The canal is then dilated by injecting a sterile, gel-like material called a viscoelastic. After the drainage channel is made larger the micro-catheter is removed and a suture is placed within the canal system. Suture tension within this system keeps it open for years resulting in a controlled eye pressure.
Most glaucoma patients are eligible for canaloplasty. However, certain types of glaucoma such as “narrow” or “closed” angle glaucoma do not respond to canaloplasty. Additionally, certain types of previous glaucoma lasers or surgeries may make canaloplasty technically more challenging for the surgeon (increasing the risks of surgery). With proper selection, however, canaloplasty can be expected to reduce (or even eliminate) the need for glaucoma drops. Find out if you or your loved one qualifies for canaloplasty.
Benefits of Canaloplasty
- Uses the eye’s natural drainage system
- Does not create a permanent fistula in the wall of the eye
- Does not require a bleb
- Provides long-term reduction in IOP
- Reduces the need for medications to keep the IOP controlled
- Is safer than traditional glaucoma surgeries
- Plus many more!