Trabeculectomy for Treating Glaucoma

Trabeculectomy is a surgical procedure designed to relieve intraocular pressure in patients with glaucoma, particularly when other treatments have failed to achieve adequate control. This surgical approach can be crucial in preserving visual function by managing the progression of glaucoma. If you’d like to learn more about this treatment option, here’s an overview.  

What Is Trabeculectomy?

Trabeculectomy, often called filtering surgery, involves creating a new drainage pathway for the aqueous humor, the fluid inside the eye. This procedure targets the trabecular meshwork—where fluid drainage from the eye naturally occurs but is typically impeded in patients with glaucoma.  

During the surgery, the ophthalmologist removes a small piece of tissue from the eye’s drainage angle, creating an opening. This opening is covered with a flap of scleral tissue, the white part of the eye, and partially stitched closed to allow fluid to escape at a controlled rate. The fluid then collects in a reservoir called a bleb, usually concealed under the upper eyelid, from where it is absorbed into the bloodstream.  

Indications for Trabeculectomy

Trabeculectomy is generally recommended for patients whose glaucoma cannot be controlled with eye drops, pills, or laser treatments. It is particularly beneficial in cases of open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of the condition. This surgery may also be considered in patients with closed-angle glaucoma or in individuals who have developed glaucoma despite clear drainage angles, known as normal-tension glaucoma.  

Benefits of Trabeculectomy

The primary benefit of trabeculectomy is its ability to reduce intraocular pressure significantly when less invasive treatments are insufficient. By lowering the pressure, trabeculectomy helps to prevent further optic nerve damage and subsequent loss of vision. Many patients who undergo this procedure achieve stable eye pressure, which can reduce or sometimes eliminate the need for glaucoma medications.  

Risks and Complications

As with any surgical procedure, trabeculectomy carries potential risks and complications. Common concerns include infection, bleeding, and an over- or under-filtration of aqueous humor. In some cases, the newly created drainage channel may scar and close, reducing the effectiveness of the surgery. Long-term complications can include cataract formation and vision changes.  

Postoperative Care and Follow-up

After trabeculectomy, close follow-up care with an ophthalmologist is critical to monitor the eye’s healing process and adjust treatment as necessary. Patients typically receive medications to prevent infection and manage inflammation. Regular check-ups are essential to ensure that the drainage channel remains open and functions correctly and to assess the intraocular pressure.  

The immediate postoperative period may involve wearing an eye patch and avoiding strenuous activities or anything that could stress the eyes, such as bending or heavy lifting. Recovery time varies, but most patients can return to their normal activities within a few weeks with continued monitoring.  

Considering Trabeculectomy as a Treatment Option

At ECVA, we understand the importance of informed decisions and personalized care. Our experienced team is here to support you if you’re seeking alternative glaucoma treatments or are overdue for an eye exam. Take the proactive step towards clearer vision and greater peace of mind – schedule an appointment at your nearest ECVA clinic today and let us guide you towards optimal eye health. 

The Causes of Secondary Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve – which is an essential part of vision – and is often linked to increased pressure inside the eye. Secondary glaucoma, a type of this condition, arises as a complication of another medical issue or condition. Here’s a closer look at secondary glaucoma, including what it is and its causes and mechanisms.  

Understanding Secondary Glaucoma  

Secondary glaucoma is distinguished from primary glaucoma by its direct association with an identifiable underlying health issue or injury. While primary glaucoma typically develops due to genetic predisposition or age-related changes and lacks a direct cause, secondary glaucoma results from specific pathological conditions that affect the eye’s fluid dynamics or external trauma.  

The balance of aqueous humor production and drainage determines intraocular pressure (IOP) in the eye. Under normal conditions, this fluid is produced in the ciliary body, flows through the pupil, and drains via the trabecular meshwork at the angle where the iris and cornea meet. Any disruption in this flow or drainage can lead to increased IOP, the primary risk factor for optic nerve damage in glaucoma.  

The treatment and management of secondary glaucoma require an understanding of the underlying cause, as addressing this root issue is essential for effective control of the glaucoma itself.  

Common Causes of Secondary Glaucoma  

Eye Injuries  

Trauma to the eye can lead to traumatic glaucoma, a form of secondary glaucoma. Injuries such as blunt or penetrating trauma can disrupt the eye’s natural drainage system, causing fluid buildup and increased IOP. The onset of traumatic glaucoma may be immediate following the injury or can develop gradually over time.  


Uveitis, an inflammation of the middle layer of the eye (uvea), can obstruct fluid outflow, leading to inflammatory glaucoma. This condition may occur in one or both eyes and is often associated with autoimmune disorders or infections.  

Use of Certain Medications  

Certain medications, particularly corticosteroids used to treat a variety of conditions, can induce glaucoma. Steroid-induced glaucoma is the result of the eye’s increased sensitivity to steroids, affecting its ability to drain fluid properly and maintain a healthy IOP.  

Other Eye Conditions  

Several other eye conditions can also lead to secondary glaucoma, including pseudoexfoliation syndrome, where extra material is produced and sloughs off the lens of the eye and clogs the drainage system. Another is pigment dispersion syndrome, where pigment granules from the iris are dispersed throughout the eye, similarly clogging the drainage angles. However, those are just two examples, as many other diagnoses can increase a person’s risk of developing the condition.  

Risk Factors  

Certain factors can increase the risk of developing secondary glaucoma. These include a history of eye injuries, systemic diseases such as diabetes or hypertension, and the use of medications known to affect intraocular pressure. Genetic predisposition may also play a role in an individual’s susceptibility to certain types of secondary glaucoma.  

 Find A Glaucoma Specialist Near Buffalo, NY 

Navigating secondary glaucoma requires a keen understanding of its multifaceted causes and risk factors. At ECVA, our commitment to your eye health extends beyond diagnosis to comprehensive care and support. If you seek proactive eye care, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at your nearest ECVA clinic today and let us guide you towards clearer vision and peace of mind. 

What Is the Safest Glaucoma Surgery?

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve and is often caused by abnormally high pressure in your eye. Left untreated, glaucoma can lead to blindness. Fortunately, several surgical options are available for managing glaucoma, each with its own benefits and risks.  

For most patients, finding the safest effective option is typically the goal. Here’s a look at the available glaucoma surgeries, including which option is generally considered the least risky.  

Glaucoma Surgeries  


Trabeculectomy has been a standard glaucoma treatment for decades. This surgical procedure involves creating a new drainage pathway for the aqueous humor (the fluid inside the eye) to lower intraocular pressure. While trabeculectomy is effective, it is associated with potential complications such as infection, bleeding, and scarring, which can affect the surgery’s success and the patient’s vision.  

Glaucoma Implant Surgery

Glaucoma implant surgery involves placing a small device inside the eye to help drain fluid and reduce intraocular pressure. While this method is effective, especially in cases where trabeculectomy has failed or is not advisable, it carries risks. These include implant malposition, erosion of the overlying tissue, and potential damage to the cornea, leading to a decrease in vision quality.  

Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery  

Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) has gained popularity as a safer alternative to traditional glaucoma surgeries. These procedures use microscopic-sized equipment and tiny incisions, aiming to reduce intraocular pressure by improving aqueous humor outflow. MIGS procedures are less invasive, have fewer complications, and offer a quicker recovery time, making them an attractive option for many patients with mild to moderate glaucoma and their physicians.  

MIGS includes several types of surgeries, like the insertion of micro-stents or the use of lasers, to enhance the eye’s natural drainage pathways. These procedures are often combined with cataract surgery, providing an additional benefit for patients with both conditions.  

Choosing the Right Treatment

Deciding on the most suitable glaucoma surgery involves considering various factors, including the type and severity of glaucoma, the patient’s overall health, and the potential risks and benefits of each procedure. While MIGS offers a safer and less invasive option, it might not be suitable for all patients, particularly those with advanced glaucoma.  

The key to choosing the right glaucoma treatment lies in a thorough consultation with your eye care provider. Ophthalmologists can provide detailed assessments, discuss the available options, and recommend the most appropriate course of action based on individual needs and circumstances. It is crucial for patients to have open discussions with their doctors, understand the potential outcomes, and follow their guidance for the best results.  

Ultimately, while various surgical options are available for managing glaucoma, MIGS stands out as a safer and preferred method for many patients, especially those with mild to moderate conditions. However, the choice of surgery is highly individual and should be made after careful consideration and consultation with an eye care professional.  

Find The Right Glaucoma Treatment For You In The Buffalo Area 

Ready to take the next step in managing your glaucoma? Schedule a consultation with ECVA to discuss which glaucoma treatment option is right for you.  

From Cataracts to LASIK: A Comprehensive Guide to Ophthalmological Procedures in Buffalo, NY

Buffalo, New York, boasts a vibrant community of ophthalmologists dedicated to providing top-tier eye care services. Eye Care & Vision Associates (ECVA) is proud to be a member of this robust medical community. From addressing common conditions like cataracts to offering advanced refractive LASIK surgeries, Buffalo ophthalmologists remain committed to enhancing our patients’ vision and quality of life. In this guide, we’ll delve into the various ophthalmological procedures available in Buffalo, covering everything from cataract surgery to LASIK and beyond.

What Do Ophthalmologists in Buffalo, NY Do?

Ophthalmologists in Buffalo, NY, are medical doctors specializing in diagnosing, treating, and managing eye diseases and disorders. They undergo extensive training to perform a wide range of procedures to preserve and improve vision. Not to be confused with optometrists, who provide eye exams, ophthalmologists are doctors of medicine (MD) or doctors of osteopathy (DO) specializing in diagnosing and treating eye disorders and diseases. Buffalo ophthalmologists can handle a variety of eye-related conditions, such as:

When to See a Cataract Ophthalmologist in Buffalo

Cataracts are a common age-related condition characterized by clouding the eye’s natural lens, leading to blurry vision and difficulty seeing clearly. Here are the typical symptoms of cataracts:

  • Clouded, blurred, or dim vision: You may notice that your vision becomes hazy or less sharp. Objects might appear less distinct.
  • Trouble seeing at night: Cataracts can make it challenging to see clearly in low-light conditions, such as during the night.
  • Sensitivity to light and glare: Bright lights or glare from sunlight or artificial sources can be bothersome.
  • Need for brighter light: You might need more light than usual for reading or other activities.
  • Seeing “halos” around lights: Some people with cataracts perceive halos or circles around light sources.
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription: As cataracts progress, your corrective lens prescription may need more frequent adjustments.
  • Fading or yellowing of colors: Colors may appear less vibrant or reflect a yellowish tint.

Remember that cataracts usually develop gradually, and most age-related cataracts progress over time. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s essential to seek evaluation by an eye care professional. Regular eye exams can help detect cataracts early and guide appropriate management.

If you suspect cataracts or have concerns about your vision, consider scheduling a comprehensive eye examination with a Buffalo ophthalmologist. They can provide personalized advice and recommend appropriate treatment options if necessary.

What are Cataracts and How Do They Affect Vision

Cataracts are a common eye condition that affects the lens of the eye. More than 20 million Americans over the age of 40 have this condition.

The eye’s lens is the transparent window through which you see the world. A cataract clouds that lens, making your vision like looking through a frosty or fogged-up window. Clouded vision can make reading, driving at night, or seeing expressions on people’s faces more difficult. If you have cataracts, you may experience clouded or blurred vision and problems seeing at night. You may see halos around lights and be sensitive to bright light or glare. How you perceive colors may be affected, and you may experience headaches. If you have any of these symptoms, seeing an ophthalmologist in Buffalo is essential. Cataracts are a progressive disease that can lead to blindness if left uncorrected.

Most cataracts develop due to natural changes in the eyes as we age. However, other risk factors, such as a family history of cataracts, diabetes, or even the long-term use of certain medications, such as steroid eye drops, can cause this disease to develop.

Cataracts can be treated effectively through surgery, by replacing the natural lens with an artificial lens. If you experience any symptoms, consult ophthalmologists in Buffalo for proper evaluation and care.

Overview of Cataract Surgery

More than six million Americans have had successful cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is a common and highly effective procedure that removes and replaces the clouded lens with a clear artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL). During the surgery, the ophthalmologist makes a small incision in the eye, breaks up the cloudy lens using ultrasound technology, and inserts the new IOL.

Benefits and Outcomes of Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery is known for its remarkable success rate in restoring clear vision and improving quality of life. On average, 95% of patients experience clearer vision after their surgery, and complications from the procedure are very low. Post-surgery patients often experience enhanced visual acuity, reduced dependence on glasses or contact lenses, and improved overall well-being following the procedure.

When to See an Ophthalmologist for LASIK Surgery in Buffalo

LASIK surgery is a popular refractive procedure designed to correct common vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. If you’re tired of relying on glasses or contact lenses to see clearly, it may be time to explore LASIK options with an experienced ophthalmologist in Buffalo.

LASIK and Its Role in Vision Correction

LASIK, or Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis, utilizes advanced laser technology to reshape the cornea, the transparent front part of the eye, to improve refractive errors and achieve clearer vision without corrective lenses.

How LASIK Works to Reshape the Cornea

To understand the LASIK procedure, you must understand a bit of eye anatomy, chiefly, understanding the cornea.

The eye cornea, often referred to simply as the cornea, is the transparent, dome-shaped outer layer covering the front of the eye. It is the eye’s primary refractive surface, responsible for focusing incoming light rays onto the retina, located at the back of the eye. The cornea plays a crucial role in the eye’s optical system, contributing to most of the eye’s focusing power.

During LASIK surgery, the ophthalmologist creates a thin flap in the cornea and uses a laser to reshape its underlying tissue, correcting the refractive error and improving visual clarity. The flap is then repositioned, allowing for rapid healing and minimal discomfort.

Who is a Candidate for LASIK Surgery

Ideal candidates for LASIK surgery are individuals over 18 years old with stable vision and healthy corneas. A thorough evaluation by an ophthalmologist will determine whether LASIK suits your specific needs and vision goals.

LASIK Procedure Details and Recovery Process

LASIK surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure and takes only a few minutes per eye. Most patients experience immediate improvements in vision and can resume normal activities within a day or two following surgery, with minimal downtime.

Beyond Refractive Surgeries: Other Ophthalmological Procedures in Buffalo

In addition to cataract and LASIK surgeries, ophthalmologists in Buffalo offer a range of other procedures to address various eye conditions and disorders.

Glaucoma Surgery

Glaucoma surgery aims to reduce intraocular pressure and prevent further damage to the optic nerve, helping preserve vision and slow disease progression.

Corneal Transplants

Corneal transplants involve replacing damaged or diseased corneal tissue with healthy donor tissue to restore vision and alleviate symptoms such as pain and visual distortion.

Retinal Surgeries

Retinal surgeries treat conditions affecting the retina, such as retinal detachment, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy, and may involve techniques such as vitrectomy and laser photocoagulation.

Factors to Consider Before Undergoing Ophthalmological Procedures in Buffalo

Before undergoing any ophthalmological procedure in Buffalo, it’s essential to consider several factors to ensure the best possible outcomes and minimize risks.

Candidacy Criteria, Risks, and Potential Complications

Understanding your candidacy for a specific procedure and the associated risks and potential complications is crucial for making informed decisions about your eye care. While eye surgery generally has a low complication rate, talk with your Buffalo ophthalmologist about your options and the risks involved.

Importance of a Thorough Consultation with an Ophthalmologist in Buffalo

A thorough consultation with an experienced ophthalmologist in Buffalo will help determine the most suitable treatment plan tailored to your needs and vision goals.

Tips for Selecting a Qualified and Experienced Surgeon

When selecting an ophthalmologist for your eye care needs, look for qualifications, experience, and a track record of successful outcomes. Personal recommendations and online reviews can also provide valuable insights into the surgeon’s reputation and patient satisfaction.

Schedule a Consultation with the Top Ophthalmologists in Buffalo, NY Today

Choosing an ophthalmologist in Buffalo requires carefully evaluating the best practice and surgeon to help with your condition. If you’re considering cataract surgery, LASIK, or any other ophthalmological procedure in Buffalo, NY, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with one of the top ophthalmologists in the area, Eye Care & Vision Associates (ECVA).We deliver the highest quality healthcare in the region from multiple office locations that make it convenient to visit us.

Investing in your eye health today can lead to a lifetime of clear vision and improved quality of life. Find out why our patients partner with ECVA to take care of their eyes at all the stages of their lives. Contact our ophthalmologists today.

Family looking at eyeglasses

Combined Cataract and Glaucoma Surgery: What to Expect

Both cataracts and glaucoma can rob a person of their vision, and the conditions can occur concurrently. For patients with cataracts and glaucoma, combined cataract and glaucoma surgery is often enticing. During the procedure, your eye care provider addresses both conditions during the surgical procedure, and there are several benefits to the approach.  

If you’re wondering whether combined cataract and glaucoma surgery is the best choice for you and want to know more about what to expect from the procedure, here’s what you need to know.  

The Benefits of Combined Cataract and Glaucoma Surgery  

Combining cataract and glaucoma surgery often significantly improves overall vision quality. The removal of the cloudy lens during cataract surgery, coupled with glaucoma management, enhances visual clarity and sharpness, which makes handling everyday tasks and work activities easier.  

Additionally, a key advantage of opting for combined surgery is patients usually experience a streamlined recovery process. There’s one recovery period instead of two, reducing overall downtime dramatically when compared to having two separate surgeries.  

Finally, combining cataract and glaucoma surgeries is typically more cost-effective than doing procedures separately. Patients often save on total facility fees and other expenses when performing both surgeries at the same time, allowing them to reduce the overall cost of treatment.  

What to Expect from Combined Cataract and Glaucoma Surgery

If you’re considering combined cataract and glaucoma surgery, the first step is typically a comprehensive exam. That allows your eye care provider to evaluate the state of both conditions, confirm you’re a suitable candidate for the procedures, and develop an appropriate treatment plan prior to surgery.  

Once the plan is in place, your eye care provider will discuss what occurs during the cataract removal and glaucoma treatment. For the latter, this usually involves explaining the chosen minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) selected or an overview of the available options if more than one MIGS is reasonable.  

During the conversation, your eye care provider will also review the benefits and risks of the combined surgery. The goal is to ensure you’re well-informed, allowing you to decide your best choice is moving forward.  

Once it’s time for your surgery, sedation and local anesthetic are administered to keep you relaxed and to numb the eye. That ensures your comfort during the surgery and can make general anesthesia unnecessary, which reduces overall risk.  

After the surgery, you’ll need to follow the post-surgical recovery plan created and outlined by your provider to support optimal healing. This can include taking specific prescription medications, avoiding strenuous activity, and more, as well as attending scheduled follow-up appointments.  

Are You a Candidate for Combined Cataract and Glaucoma Surgery? 

If you’re interested in combined cataract and glaucoma surgery and want to find out if you’re a suitable candidate, you’ll need to start the process by making an appointment with your eye care provider. Then, they can determine if the procedure is a good treatment choice.  

WNY Best Eye Surgeons

If you’re considering combined cataract and glaucoma surgery, our experienced team is here to provide guidance. Explore the possibilities and take a step towards clearer vision by scheduling an appointment at one of our four convenient ECVA clinic locations in the WNY region. 

Am I a Candidate for iStent?

After a glaucoma diagnosis, finding a suitable treatment is crucial for preserving visual acuity. Glaucoma causes pressure to rise in the eye, and when that occurs, damage to the optic nerve can harm a person’s ability to see, potentially leading to permanent vision loss. 

Fortunately, minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS), like iStent, has significant potential to assist glaucoma patients. However, the iStent isn’t the right choice for everyone. If you’re wondering whether you’re a candidate for iStent, here’s what you need to know. 

What Is iStent? 

iStent is an implantable medical device that reduces intraocular pressure (IOP) by improving fluid drainage in the eye. By decreasing fluid levels, IOP also declines. In turn, the chance of ongoing damage to the optic nerve is reduced, lessening a patient’s chances of more vision loss. 

The iStent procedure won’t reverse any permanent vision loss that has already occurred. However, it can preserve a patient’s remaining vision, which is why it’s an attractive option for patients struggling to manage their IOP using alternative means like eye drops. 

Best Candidates for iStent 

Generally, the iStent is a potential treatment option for specific glaucoma patients. It’s best suited to treat mild-to-moderate open-angle glaucoma in patients who aren’t securing the necessary IOP reduction through the use of glaucoma eye drops. It’s also a viable treatment for pigmentary or pseudo-exfoliative glaucoma. 

However, the iStent procedure is done in conjunction with cataract surgery. As a result, patients need a cataract diagnosis, and the condition needs to justify cataract surgery. 

While those are the primary ways to determine if a patient is a candidate for iStent, other factors can influence whether it’s a viable treatment for their glaucoma. As a result, meeting the criteria above doesn’t guarantee candidate suitability. 

How to Find Out If You’re a Candidate for iStent 

If you’ve been diagnosed with glaucoma and aren’t getting the desired results from eye drops or other treatment options, iStent could be a solid choice for reducing the odds of further damage to your vision. However, the only way to find out if you’re a suitable candidate for iStent is to consult with your eye care provider. 

When you meet with your eye care provider, they can evaluate a variety of factors to determine if iStent is a solid choice. Every patient is unique, so participating in a thorough exam is essential, as it allows your eye care provider to determine whether the iStent will provide the desired result with minimal risk. 

Additionally, your eye care provider can review essential information about the procedure that allows you to make an informed decision. They can outline the benefits and risks, aftercare requirements, and other vital details, making it easier for you to determine if iStent is the right treatment for you if you’re a good candidate. 

Glaucoma Treatment Options in Buffalo

If you have glaucoma and are interested in determining your eligibility for the iStent procedure, our team is here to help. Take the first step toward improved eye health by scheduling an appointment at your nearest ECVA clinic today. 

The Revolutionary iStent: A Minimally Invasive Solution for Glaucoma

Effective glaucoma treatment is critical for preserving a patient’s vision. Glaucoma is chronic and progressive, and without proper treatment, it robs patients of their vision. Globally, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness, but it is possible to slow its progression significantly.  

One minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) that’s revolutionizing glaucoma treatment is the iStent. Here’s a look at the iStent, how it treats glaucoma, and how to determine if it’s right for you.  

What Is the iStent?  

The iStent is a tiny, implantable device designed to alleviate the intraocular pressure (IOP) caused by glaucoma. Shaped like a microscopic stent, it’s made of biocompatible material and is so small that it qualifies as the tiniest medical device currently in use. The primary purpose of the iStent is to facilitate the drainage of fluid from the eye, addressing the root cause of the IOP that can damage the optic nerve and rob glaucoma patients of their vision.  

How Does the iStent Treat Glaucoma?  

To understand how the iStent treats glaucoma, it’s critical to know how glaucoma impacts the eyes and a patient’s vision. Glaucoma is characterized by a rise in IOP due to poor drainage of the aqueous humor (the fluid that nourishes the eye).  

When IOP increases, the pressure can damage the optic nerve. As the optic nerve is damaged, vision impairment occurs. Without treatment, vision loss expands, potentially leading to blindness.  

The iStent treats glaucoma by creating a pathway for fluid. During a MIGS procedure, the iStent is positioned in the trabecular meshwork in a drainage channel in the eye. Once in place, the iStent allows the natural drainage system in the eye to work more effectively. In turn, IOP is reduced, and that prevents or reduces further optic nerve damage.  

The iStent is positioned during cataract removal surgery, allowing for fewer total incisions. Only local anesthesia is required, and the procedure itself is painless.  

Additionally, the iStent is considered a long-term solution for glaucoma patients. It also reduces the need for further treatments, allowing patients to rely less on eye drops to keep IOP at an appropriate level.  

Is iStent Right for You?  

Generally, the iStent is a viable treatment for patients with mild-to-moderate open-angle glaucoma currently using eye drops but who aren’t achieving the desired IOP reductions. Additionally, it’s only positioned in conjunction with cataract surgery.  

However, whether you’re a good candidate for the iStent may depend on other factors. As a result, it’s critical to speak with your eye care provider about your glaucoma, the effectiveness of your current treatment, and whether the iStent is potentially the right choice.  

At ECVA, the safety and health of our patients’ eyes are our priority. If you have glaucoma and want to determine whether you’re a good candidate for the iStent MIGS procedure or haven’t visited your eye care provider in the past year, the ECVA team is here to help. Schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today.

Exploring Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS)

Glaucoma is a chronic and progressive eye condition that’s also the leading cause of blindness in the world. Damage occurs as intraocular pressure (IOP) builds, which harms the optic nerve, causing irreversible vision loss. Traditional glaucoma treatments usually involve topical medications or laser treatments, the latter of which are associated with challenges like complications, long recovery times, and significant follow-up requirements.  

Fortunately, newer procedures are proving effective at addressing IOP in glaucoma patients, and they can involve less risk when compared to some traditional alternatives. Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) is a cutting-edge approach that’s proving highly effective, and it’s potentially safer than some other forms of treatment. Here’s what you need to know about MIGS.  

What Is Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery?  

MIGS is a group of glaucoma surgeries that use minimally invasive approaches to reduce IOP. Typically, they involve a small incision and subsequent procedures to improve fluid drainage, leading to far less intraocular pressure.  

While MIGS can’t reverse any damage caused by glaucoma, the treatments can slow or prevent progression. The procedures typically decrease IOP substantially over periods of up to two years. Plus, they can reduce a patient’s need for glaucoma eye drops, making the condition easier to manage daily. 

Types of MIGS  

There are several MIGS procedures currently available. Here is a brief overview of them:  

  • Ab-Interno Canaloplasty (ABiC): A MIGS procedure that uses a microscopic incision and the insertion of a catheter into the drainage canal to inject a viscoelastic substance that breaks down blockages and adhesions to improve fluid drainage  
  • CyPASS: A MIGS procedure involving an implanted device that’s positioned in the suprachoroidal space to enhance fluid outflow  
  • Gonio-Assisted Transluminal Trabeculotomy: A MIGS procedure similar to ABiC that’s particularly well-suited to younger patients with juvenile glaucoma  
  • iStent: A MIGS procedure using a small implant that’s placed in the drainage angle to improve fluid outflow  
  • Trabectome: A MIGS procedure for treating open-angle glaucoma that involves a small incision and a specialized tissue debris-removal tool to address fluid drainage blockages.  

The Benefits of MIGS  

MIGS procedures offer patients an array of benefits. Generally, MIGS is far safer than traditional glaucoma surgery, using smaller incisions and coming with a reduced risk of complications. Each of the MIGS procedures also minimally alters normal anatomy and instead focuses on augmenting physiological systems to improve outflow.  

With a MIGS procedure, IOP is typically reduced significantly, though the exact amount can vary. In many cases, patients can reduce their use of eye drop medications after a MIGS procedure. Recovery is also far quicker when compared to many traditional surgical alternatives, resulting in less downtime for patients.  

Is MIGS Right for You?  

Generally, MIGS are potential treatments for patients with mild or moderate glaucoma who either aren’t getting positive results with topical medications or who don’t tolerate those treatments well. The use of the implants reduces the need for topical medications, making them a strong choice in situations where medications prove ineffective or lead to undesirable or hard-to-manage side effects.  

However, only an eye care provider can determine if you’re a good candidate for MIGS. Additionally, there are several MIGS procedures available, and some may better suit your situation than others.  

At ECVA, the safety and health of our patients’ eyes are our priority. If you’re considering MIGS as a treatment for glaucoma or simply haven’t visited your eye care provider in the past year, the ECVA team is here to help. Schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today.  

Beyond Eye Drops: The Advantages of Durysta Implant for Glaucoma Treatment

To put it simply, a glaucoma diagnosis is intimidating for many patients. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness. While there’s no cure for glaucoma, there are treatment options designed to help preserve your vision, including Durysta.  

Durysta is a newer treatment option for open-angle glaucoma (OAG) that also works for ocular hypertension (OHT). It’s a bimatoprost intracameral implant that’s FDA-approved, and Durysta works by releasing bimatoprost – a medication that combats high eye pressure – slowly over time.  

When looking for a glaucoma treatment, Durysta offers several advantages over many alternatives, particularly eye drops. Here’s a look at what patients can gain by choosing the Durysta implant for glaucoma treatment.  

Durysta Offers Better Effectiveness 

While eye drops are an approved treatment for glaucoma, using that approach prevents all of the medication from reaching the impacted tissues. With glaucoma, intraocular pressure typically builds in the posterior or back of the eye, not the surface where eye drops are applied. As a result, not all of the medications reach the affected tissues.  

One of the most distinct benefits patients experience when using the Durysta implant instead of eye drops is better efficacy. With Durysta, the implant is positioned to ensure medications are able to reach impacted tissues more reliably than eye drops. That makes it highly effective at reducing intraocular pressure and leads to better overall results.  

Improved Stability with Durysta  

When eye drops are used to treat glaucoma, the presence of the medication declines over time until the eye drops are reapplied. As a result, patients may experience fluctuations in intraocular pressure. Additionally, if they forget to apply the eye drops according to the schedule, more significant fluctuations can occur.  

The Durysta implant ensures that medication is steadily released over time. This creates greater stability when it comes to eye pressure, even overnight. The implant provides stability for a minimum of four to six months, though patients may experience lower pressure up to 24 months after insertion.  

Durysta Is Simpler for Patients  

One of the challenges of using eye drops to treat glaucoma is the need for frequent applications. While the frequency of use does vary depending on a patient’s needs, some may need to apply the eye drops up to four times daily. That’s a potentially challenging schedule to maintain, particularly for people who are on the go or may struggle with remembering to use the medication.  

With the Durysta implant, patients don’t need to take action to ensure they’re getting the treatment. Once inserted, Durysta slowly releases the medication on its own. As a result, it’s far simpler for patients to use, as once it’s in place, no further effort is typically required.  

See The Best Doctors in Buffalo for Glaucoma Treatment

At ECVA, the safety and health of our patients’ eyes are our priority. If you’ve been diagnosed with glaucoma and want to see if the Durysta implant is right for you or simply haven’t visited your eye care provider in the past year, the ECVA team is here to help. Schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today.  

Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery in WNY is a Game-Changer in Treatment

About three million people each year in the U.S. live with the disease called glaucoma. One-half of these people don’t even realize they have the disease. Over time, glaucoma can degrade the eye’s function and even cause blindness. That’s why an annual eye exam is critical to preventing this disease.

But what treatment options are open for people who experience glaucoma? Eye drops and glaucoma surgery is the traditional treatment for this disease. But glaucoma treatment in Buffalo is changing. A more modern approach to glaucoma surgery is decreasing downtime from this procedure and improving healthcare outcomes for patients suffering from the disease. We’d like to introduce you to minimally invasive glaucoma surgery as an exciting new treatment options for restoring the health of your eyes.

What is Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS)?

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that can damage the optic nerve. An increase in intraocular pressure causes the disease. If left untreated, it can lead to vision loss and even blindness. Historically, traditional glaucoma surgery has been the primary approach to manage the disease. However, recent advancements in the field of ophthalmology have introduced Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS). MIGS is a groundbreaking technique that is changing the landscape of glaucoma treatment in Western New York (WNY).

MIGS procedures in WNY refer to a category of surgical procedures designed to manage glaucoma through small incisions, minimizing trauma to the eye. Unlike traditional glaucoma surgery, MIGS offers a less invasive alternative, making it an appealing choice for patients and ophthalmologists. These procedures have been gaining popularity and have shown promising results in managing glaucoma, with quicker recovery times and fewer complications.

Traditional vs. Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery in WNY

Medical science continues to evolve and improve. Such is the case with glaucoma surgery. Minimally invasive techniques are the next step for glaucoma specialists in Buffalo. While not all patients qualify for MIGS, what are the differences between traditional glaucoma surgery and the less invasive procedure?

What is Traditional Glaucoma Surgery?

Traditional glaucoma surgery typically involves creating a drainage pathway for excess aqueous humor (the clear fluid in the eye) to reduce intraocular pressure. The most common traditional glaucoma surgery is a trabeculectomy, where a small hole is made in the eye to allow fluid to drain out, or a tube shunt implant, which involves the placement of a drainage device in the eye to achieve a similar effect.

While these procedures have effectively lowered intraocular pressure and managed glaucoma, they are associated with certain drawbacks. Traditional surgeries are invasive, requiring a larger incision and extensive manipulation of the eye, which can result in complications and longer recovery times.

How Does Traditional Glaucoma Treatment in Buffalo Compare to MIGS?

In contrast, MIGS procedures are designed to be minimally invasive, utilizing micro-incisions and tiny devices to enhance the outflow of aqueous humor from the eye. These procedures are typically performed with specialized equipment, such as microscopes and fine instruments, allowing for a high degree of precision.

MIGS procedures differ from traditional surgeries in their surgical approach and the extent of tissue manipulation. They are often performed conjunctively or through the cornea, reducing the risk of complications associated with larger incisions.

What Are the Advantages of MIGS over Traditional Surgery?

MIGS is Minimally Invasive

One of the primary advantages of MIGS is its minimally invasive nature. The micro-incisions and small devices used in MIGS reduce the risk of complications, such as infection and inflammation, associated with larger incisions in traditional glaucoma surgery.

Reduced Postoperative Discomfort

MIGS procedures are associated with minimal postoperative discomfort and a quicker recovery time. Patients often experience less pain and a faster return to their normal daily activities, which is a significant advantage over traditional surgery.

Preservation of Conjunctival Tissue

Traditional glaucoma surgery typically involves the creation of a conjunctival flap, which can lead to long-term complications, including scarring and conjunctival overgrowth. In contrast, MIGS procedures aim to preserve conjunctival tissue, reducing the risk of these complications.

Effective Intraocular Pressure Control

MIGS procedures have proven effective in lowering and maintaining intraocular pressure, a crucial factor in managing glaucoma. They offer a viable option for patients with mild to moderate glaucoma, where traditional surgeries may be considered overly aggressive.

Compatibility with Cataract Surgery

One significant advantage of MIGS is its compatibility with cataract surgery, which is common in older patients. Patients requiring cataract and glaucoma treatment can undergo these procedures concurrently, reducing the need for multiple surgeries.

What are the Benefits of MIGS Procedures for Glaucoma Patients in WNY?

A common concern for older patients in WNY is the concurrent presence of both cataracts and glaucoma. Traditional glaucoma surgery and cataract surgery are typically separate procedures, which can be burdensome for patients and increase the risk of complications. MIGS procedures offer a solution to this issue by being compatible with cataract surgery. Patients who require treatment for cataracts and glaucoma can undergo MIGS and cataract surgery simultaneously. The benefit of this approach is is reduces the number of surgical interventions required and allows for the efficient management of both conditions, improving the overall quality of care for these patients.

Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery Has Fewer Complications

One of the most compelling benefits of MIGS procedures for glaucoma patients in Western New York is reducing postoperative complications. Traditional glaucoma surgery often involves the creation of a large, full-thickness flap in the conjunctiva, which can lead to complications such as infection, excessive scarring, and even conjunctival overgrowth. With their minimally invasive approach, MIGS procedures minimize these risks, making them a safer option for many patients.

In addition to reducing the likelihood of complications, MIGS can also be performed without disturbing the anatomy of the eye to a significant extent. Preservation of ocular integrity is particularly important for patients who may require further eye surgery in the future.

MIGS Procedures Have Minimized Postoperative Discomfort

Another significant advantage of MIGS procedures is the reduction in postoperative discomfort. Traditional glaucoma surgery can lead to significant pain and discomfort in the days following the procedure. In contrast, MIGS patients typically experience much milder discomfort, allowing for a quicker return to their daily activities and improved quality of life. This aspect of MIGS makes it an attractive option for patients who may be hesitant about the pain associated with traditional surgery.

Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery Preserves Conjunctival Tissue

The preservation of conjunctival tissue is a crucial benefit of MIGS procedures. Traditional glaucoma surgery often necessitates the creation of a conjunctival flap, which can lead to long-term complications such as scarring and overgrowth. It can be particularly problematic if the patient needs additional eye surgeries in the future, as the integrity of the conjunctiva may be compromised.

MIGS procedures aim to minimize manipulation of the conjunctiva, preserving this delicate tissue. MIGS can reduce the risk of complications but also ensure that the patient’s eye remains in optimal condition for any future procedures. Preserving conjunctival tissue is a significant advantage for patients in WNY seeking effective and sustainable glaucoma management.

MIGS Procedures are Effective at Controlling Intraocular Pressure

Effective control of intraocular pressure is the primary goal of glaucoma treatment, as elevated intraocular pressure is a major risk factor for optic nerve damage. MIGS procedures have demonstrated their ability to lower and maintain intraocular pressure, making them a valuable tool in managing glaucoma.

While traditional glaucoma surgery can be highly effective at lowering intraocular pressure, it is often considered a more aggressive approach. MIGS is particularly well-suited for patients with mild to moderate glaucoma, where the less invasive nature of these procedures can provide adequate pressure control without the risks associated with traditional surgery.

MIGS Procedures are Compatible with Cataract Surgery

A common concern for older patients in WNY is the concurrent presence of both cataracts and glaucoma. Traditional glaucoma surgery and cataract surgery are typically separate procedures, which can be burdensome for patients and increase the risk of complications. MIGS procedures offer a solution to this issue by being compatible with cataract surgery.

What is the Recovery Time for Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery in WNY?

The recovery time for MIGS procedures in WNY is significantly shorter when compared to traditional glaucoma surgery. Patients who undergo MIGS can often expect to return to their normal daily activities within a few days to a week. The minimally invasive nature of MIGS, smaller incisions, and reduced tissue manipulation contribute to this faster recovery.

In contrast, traditional glaucoma surgery often requires a longer recovery period. Creating a full-thickness conjunctival flap and extensive manipulation of the eye can result in a more prolonged healing process, with some patients experiencing discomfort for several weeks.

It’s important to note that individual recovery times can vary depending on the specific MIGS procedure, the patient’s overall health, and their adherence to postoperative care instructions. MIGS generally offers a swifter return to normal life, making it a more convenient option for patients in Western New York seeking glaucoma treatment.

Schedule a Consultation to Find Out if Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery in WNY is Right for You

MIGS has emerged as a game-changer in glaucoma treatment for patients seeking glaucoma treatment in Buffalo. The benefits of MIGS make it a highly appealing option for patients and glaucoma specialists in Buffalo. As advancements in ophthalmology continue, MIGS stands out as a revolutionary approach that is improving the outlook for individuals living with glaucoma in Western New York. Eye Care & Vision Associates (ECVA) offers patients expert glaucoma specialists in Buffalo specializing in modern, effective treatments for this disease. To talk with our staff about your treatment options, please contact one of our glaucoma specialists in Williamsville, Buffalo, Orchard Park, or Niagara Falls.