Glaucoma surgery is commonly used when medications or lasers are not enough in controlling the condition. Dr. Vendal at Westlake Eye Specialists has extensive fellowship training in glaucoma from the prestigious Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary of Harvard Medical School and offers the latest techniques in taking care of this condition.
One of the first techniques which has gained popularity over the last 3 years amongst glaucoma specialists is called Canaloplasty. This surgery is unique because of its non-invasive nature. The drainage canal of the eye is isolated and dilated with a catheter similar to an angioplasty of the heart. This enlarges the drain, keeps it permanently distended, and lowers eye pressure. Significant side effects of standard surgery like bleeding, infection, low eye pressures, and swelling of the retina are avoided because an incision to the inside of the eye is never made. Canaloplasty takes about an hour to undergo and can be combined with cataract surgery at the same time.
Dr. Vendal was one of the first Glaucoma Surgeon in Austin to perform Canaloplasty and has led the way with others around the country in fighting for insurance coverage of this new procedure.
Trabeculectomy lowers eye pressure by creating a filter between the inside and outside of the eye through which eye fluid can freely leave as it needs. This creates a permanent channel which stays open with the help of anti-scarring medicine that is also applied during surgery. Trabeculectomy takes about an hour to undergo and can be combined with cataract surgery at the same time. It can also be repeated in the same eye at a later time if needed.
Ahmed Valve Implant
The Ahmed valve is a silicone drainage device that lowers eye pressure by allowing fluid to leave the inside of the eye through a tube. It is implanted onto the white part of the eye, its silicone tip is then pierced through to the inside of the eye, and it is permanently sewn in. The tip is microscopic in size, clear in color, and sits in front of the iris. It is not visible to the naked eye. The inside of the tube has a valve in place so that fluid only exits the eye as it builds up. This surgery takes about an hour to undergo.
Before Surgery: Patients undergo glaucoma surgery at an outpatient surgery center with mild sedation and a numbing injection to the eye which deadens all sensation. The eye is prepped with eye drops prior to surgery. If patients are on any blood thinning medications they are usually asked to stop them about 1 week before surgery.
After Surgery: The eye is patched and shielded after the surgery is complete. This patch is left in place until the next day and is removed in the clinic. Patients then begin a series of drops to the eye that is slowly tapered off over 1 month. Vision returns slowly over a period of 1-2 weeks and patients are seen up to 1-2 times a week if needed. During visits, additional anti-scarring medication is sometimes added to the eye, or a contact lens is placed on the eye as needed. Patients are asked not to bend over, lift heavy things, or get the eye dirty during the healing period.
“Almost three years ago, I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of glaucoma. My doctor at the time had difficulty treating my condition. Fortunately a year ago, a friend told me about Dr. Zarmeena Vendal. My first visit with Dr. Vendal was in August 2013 and by November 2013, Dr. Vendal performed glaucoma surgery called Canaloplasty and cataract surgery. My glaucoma is under control and I have 20/20 vision.
I live in Fort Worth, TX. Dr. Vendal and her staff are worth every trip to Austin.”
Melanie R., Fort Worth, TX
Patient Since: 2013