Laser treatments and new surgical options are being added to the care of patients with glaucoma at the Eye Clinic of the University of Debrecen Clinical Center. With the use of new procedures, recovery is faster, complications are fewer and the quality of life of patients improves significantly.
Glaucoma is a disease associated with atrophy of the optic nerve, which narrows the field of vision and later impairs vision and ultimately leads to blindness. The disease affects every tenth person over the age of 70, but it can also occur earlier. As the most common cause is an increase in eye pressure, the goal of treatment is to reduce eye pressure. With the successful treatment of glaucoma, further deterioration of vision can be prevented.
In milder cases of glaucoma, the use of eye drops may be sufficient. If instillation causes difficulty or allergies, selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) can be a solution. The laser has been available since autumn 2020 for the treatment of open-angle glaucoma at the Eye Clinic in Debrecen. For all patients in whom these therapies are not sufficiently effective, the patient’s intraocular pressure remains high or his vision further deteriorates, anti-glaucoma surgery may be necessary, the common feature of which is that they open a new path inside the eye to drain the aqueous humor that most determine the intraocular pressure.
In recent years, anti-glaucoma surgeries have undergone significant development: as a result, interventions with ophthalmic implants were born. These newer surgeries no longer use the eye’s own tissues to form the drainage, so they are significantly less stressful for the patient. The operation time is shorter, recovery is faster and fewer complications are expected compared to traditional operations. The newer anti-implantation glaucoma surgeries are already available in Debrecen at the Eye Clinic of the Clinical Center.
The implant inserted during the operation is an 8-and-a-half millimeter-long, hair-thin tube, which can be inserted under the conjunctiva during a short procedure performed under local anesthesia. The tiny device is not even visible to the naked eye. The tubular implant continuously ensures drainage of aqueous humor, so the patient’s intraocular pressure remains in the normal range without further treatment. This significantly improves the quality of life, since in the ideal case it is not necessary to use multiple eye drops every day
– said assistant professor Bernadett Ujhelyi.
SLT laser treatment and conventional surgery are financed by social security. The effectiveness and safety of the implant have been confirmed by numerous international studies in the last decade.
Although the implant is not yet available in publicly funded care, it is already available for a fee.
The new type of surgery is a real step forward in the treatment of glaucoma in Debrecen. Another development is expected at the clinic in the near future, as a new laser device will be purchased, which can be used for gentler interventions to prevent the production of aqueous humor, giving hope to patients with serious conditions, whose eyes can no longer be operated on
– added associate professor Mariann Fodor, Clinical Director of the University of Debrecen and Director of the Ophthalmology Clinic.
The institution provides patients with glaucoma who are interested in laser treatments and surgeries by appointment at the Glaucoma Department of the Eye Clinic.