Information for the public

This procedure works well for primary open-angle glaucoma and there are no serious concerns about its safety.

Primary open-angle glaucoma is a progressive condition that causes long-term increase of pressure in the eye. This damages the nerve that connects the eye to the brain (optic nerve), and may gradually lead to permanent loss of sight. This procedure involves inserting a tiny tube into the main drainage canal of the eye, to widen it. The tube is then removed and a stitch is placed in the canal to keep it open so the fluid can drain out. 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: 978-1-4731-2678-7

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