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Palo Alto Eye Group is proud to be the first and only glaucoma practice in the Bay Area to offer this new treatment option to its patients. Canaloplasty is proven to safely lower intraocular pressure (IOP) and dependence on medications. And unlike traditional procedures, Canaloplasty is minimally invasive and has fewer complications and less follow-up.

Canaloplasty catheterThe canaloplasty catheter is passed into the eye’s drainage canal

To perform Canaloplasty, your doctor will make a tiny incision to gain access to the eye. A microcatheter will enlarge the main drainage channel and other channels by injecting a sterile, gel-like material. After the drainage channel is made larger, the microcatheter is removed and a suture is placed within the canal and tightened to make sure that it stays open. By opening the canal, it will drain properly, and the pressure inside your eye will be relieved.

Canaloplasty is for those who

  • Have open-angle glaucoma that is not controlled with medications and/or laser treatment
  • Have not had previous surgical treatment for glaucoma
  • Want to have a surgical procedure with fewer risks than glaucoma filtration surgery or glaucoma drainage implant surgery.

What to expect on surgery day

You will arrive at the surgery center several hours prior to your procedure. Once you have been checked-in, you will be prepared for surgery. The area around your eyes will be cleaned and a sterile drape will be applied. You may be given a sedative to help you relax. Your eye will be numbed with local anesthesia.

The operation will be performed with you awake but sedated with intravenous medications. An anesthesiologist will be present to monitor your vital signs and help keep you comfortable. The operation will take about 45 minutes to complete.

There is little discomfort following surgery except for a minor irritation. Patients usually go home within a few minutes of the end of the operation and are instructed to relax for the rest of the day. Most patients resume normal activities within a few days. Eye drops will be prescribed to ensure healing without infection or inflammation. Follow-up visits are necessary to monitor your eye pressure. Adjustments may need to be made to improve the drainage of fluid from the eye.

Realistic expectations

Canaloplasty works well to reduce the eye pressure in patients with mild to moderate glaucoma. In patients with advanced glaucoma, where extremely low pressures are needed, canaloplasty might not be the procedure of choice. In cases when canaloplasty does not lower intraocular pressure enough, it may be necessary to perform other types of procedures, such as glaucoma filtration surgery. It is important to understand that canaloplasty, like other forms of glaucoma surgery, will not bring back vision that has been lost; it will only help to stabilize the nerve damage and prevent more vision loss in the future. Serious complications with canaloplasty are rare, but like any surgical procedure, there are risks. Having a surgeon who specializes in glaucoma and is experienced in canaloplasty surgery can minimize the risks.




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