Blog post by: Eye Physicians of Long Beach

Canaloplasty is a state-of-the-art surgical technique that is undergoing testing for its effectiveness in treating glaucoma at Eye Physicians of Long Beach. By taking advantage of the eye’s existing drainage system, canaloplasty is designed to relieve pressure on the optic nerve that is caused by glaucoma. If left untreated, this pressure results in eyesight loss, potentially to the point of blindness.

The science behind canaloplasty offers an alternative to sufferers of glaucoma who have not had successful results with traditional glaucoma treatments. During a canaloplasty, a microcatheter is inserted into the Canal of Schlemm, where eye fluid naturally drains. These types of microcatheters are already used for treating congenital glaucoma and medicating for macular degeneration. In this case, it is utilized to widen the eye’s drainage canal. By increasing the size of this canal, long term relief of eye pressure is achieved. This method is especially effective in patients with open-angle glaucoma or those who are not good candidates for traditional treatment.

A trabeculectomy is the standard surgery for lowering pressure of the eye in glaucoma patients. With this procedure, a hole is made in the sclera to allow drainage. Patients who are high risk for infection or other complications, or who have had trouble with previous trabeculectomies, may find a beneficial alternative in canaloplasty. It is also a modern alternative for those who wear contact lenses.

The beauty of this procedure is that it uses tools already proven effective in treating eye problems and the eye’s naturally existing drainage system. It is an innovative technique that takes advantage of simple preexisting knowledge of the optic system. By creating an alternative for those who are struggling with glaucoma, canaloplasty could enhance the quality of life of many patients.

Canaloplasty is a welcome addition to the treatment options for glaucoma patients. Though it is a complex procedure, a skilled optic surgeon can safely use this innovative technique to lessen the pressure resulting from glaucoma. The surgeons at Eye Physicians of Long Beach can help.