Dr. Cruz is one of the FIRST surgeons in the US to perform NEWLY approved surgery for glaucoma using Allergan XEN gel stent!
Early this morning, Dr. Cris Cruz became one of the FIRST surgeons in the country to perform a newly FDA approved surgery for glaucoma using the XEN gel stent. This is an enormous advancement in glaucoma treatment!
A little background in “real people terms” = glaucoma happens when our IOP is too high. How does this happen? When the liquid in our eyes does not drain properly due to a blockage. This undraining liquid creates a lot of pressure (glaucoma) that can lead to loss of vision.
Just to give you some history in glaucoma treatment for the last several years..for over 40 years Trabeculectomies have been the most common surgical procedure for treating glaucoma and high IOP (Intra ocular pressure). Of course, before surgery there are other options for glaucoma treatment which usually involve the use of drops.
A trabeculectomy takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour to be performed and the surgeon needs to be more invasive as he/she will have to go in through the SCLERA (the white part of the eye) with a device in order to get to where he/she needs to place the shunt that helps drain the liquid which then in turn, helps lower the pressure in the eye. Along with being a long procedure, and a more invasive one, the actual shunts are made of acrylic or silicone materials which have turned out to potentially involve more risks like infection and discomfort. Sometimes, patients have complained about an uncomfortable sensation while blinking.
Approximately 5-7 years ago, a new option came about in the world of Glaucoma called MIGS (Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery). This is a procedure that occurs simultaneously along with cataract surgery and involves the placement of a microscopic-sized stent. It is by name, a much LESS invasive procedure than a traditional trabeculectomy and a good option. You may have seen all of the procedures done at our office as Dr. Buznego was also involved in the beginnings of the MIGS procedure in the US as well!
This NEW option, the XEN by Allergan involves a gel stent. This procedure is a lot less invasive than a traditional trabeculectomy (like MIGS as well). The difference now is that it actually has proven to lower IOP more than MIGS. Althought MIGS is a wonderful option for glaucoma patients, the pool of candidates for MIGS is smaller because it needs to be done during cataract surgery and is limited on how much IOP it will lower.
The XEN is looking to provide a middle option and the newest option to glaucoma patients. We are VERY excited to offer it now but even more excited that Dr. Cruz was one of the FIRST in the nation!
See the picture below of today’s procedure and a piece of glaucoma history!