A trabectome is a surgical device that can be used for Ab interno trabeculotomy, a minimally invasive glaucoma surgery for the management of glaucoma.
Glaucoma is one of the growing causes of blindness in the UK. Known “as the silent thief” because of the manner in which blindness creeps up on those with the condition, Glaucoma has traditionally been treated by eye drops and the surgical procedure trabulectomy – until now.
Glaucoma specialists at Moorfields Eye Hospital are offering a micro-surgery treatment resulting in faster surgery and much shorter healing times for patients undergoing cataract surgery for glaucoma.
The new method, known as a trabectome procedure, has been widely used in the United States but now Moorfields has invested in the technology that will enable its surgeons to use this innovative technique on patients in the UK.
A trabectome procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic and only takes between 10 – 15 minutes to perform. The surgery is only mildly invasive and reduces the need for frequent daily dosages of eye drops, the use of which can be unpleasant and is often disliked by patients.
Gus Gazzard explains why it is a step forward in treating glaucoma in the UK:
Trabectome procedures are undertaken in the early course of the disease to delay the need for more major surgery. All glaucoma patients on eye drops would potentially be eligible for this treatment although we will initially concentrate on those who need cataract surgery with which this procedure will be combined.
This has a number of benefits for the NHS and patients, including a reduction in drug use and fewer of the more major operations such as trabeculectomy which overall will save the NHS money in the long run.
These images demonstrate the Trabectome procedure, with the tip of the probe inside the eye removing the tissue that causes the blockage to fluid-flow from the eye. Doing this allows aqueous fluid to leave the eye more easily and so lowers the eye pressure.