Information for the public

There is not much good evidence about how well this procedure works or how safe it is for primary open-angle glaucoma. This procedure can be used but only when patients are having regular checks to see how well it is working or if it has caused problems.

Primary open-angle glaucoma is a worsening condition whereby fluid builds up in the eye causing an increase in pressure. This damages the nerve that connects the eye to the brain (optic nerve) and can lead to loss of sight if untreated. In this procedure, a tiny gelatin tube (stent) is inserted under the skin at the base of the eye, to create a new drainage channel for excess fluid. This reduces pressure within the eye. The procedure is done alone or during surgery for cataracts. The aim is to reduce pressure in the eye.

NHS Choices may be a good place to find out more. NICE’s information on interventional procedures guidance has more about what a procedure is and how we assess them.

Is this procedure right for me?

If you’ve been offered this procedure, your healthcare professionals should discuss with you what is involved, and tell you about the risks and benefits. They should talk with you about your options, and listen carefully to your views and concerns. Your family can be involved too, if you wish. All of this should happen before you agree (consent) to have the procedure. You should also be told how to find more information about the procedure. Read more about making decisions about your care.

Some questions to think about

  • What does the procedure involve?
  • What are the possible benefits? How likely am I to get them?
  • What are the risks or side effects? How likely are they?
  • What happens if the procedure doesn’t work or something goes wrong?
  • What happens if I don’t want the procedure? Are there other treatments available?

ISBN: 978-1-4731-2899-6

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