Treating Glaucoma with Minimally Invasive Surgery

April 15, 2020

Many eye conditions have the unfortunate aspect that they don’t exhibit obvious symptoms that would alert the person that there is a problem with their eyes. Glaucoma is one of those. Patients cannot sense that pressure is building inside of their eyes, and the damage that is occurring with the optic nerve is gradual. It’s also irreversible.

That’s why we stress the importance of patients having regular eye exams with us at Millennium Park Eye Center. During your exam, we check your intraocular pressure and we can spot the signs of glaucoma early on. These exams are especially important once you hit your 40th birthday.

Initial glaucoma treatment is usually eyedrops that lower intraocular pressure, but these don’t work in some patients, so surgery needs to be done to open a path to improve drainage in the eye. The problem with these surgeries is that they involve some risks and side effects. In an effort to avoid some of those, minimally invasive glaucoma surgeries (MIGS) are increasingly being used. Whenever possible, we employ MIGS techniques for our glaucoma surgeries at Millennium Park Eye Center.

Here’s some more information about MIGS.


These surgeries insert microscopic tubes into the eye to help drain fluid from inside the eye to the outer membrane of the eye. Two devices have recently been approved for use, the XenGel Stent and PRESERFLO, and seem to make the procedure safer.

Trabecular surgery

Most of the problems with fluid drainage come in the trabecular meshwork at the outer corners of the eyes. Several procedures use tiny equipment and devices to cut through the trabecular meshwork without damaging any other tissues in the ocular drainage pathway. The trabecular is either destroyed or bypassed. These procedures don’t usually dramatically lower eye pressure but are effective for early to moderate stages of glaucoma.

Suprachoroidal shunts

Using tiny tubes with very small internal openings, the front of the eye is connected to the suprachoroidal space between the retina and the wall of the eye to augment the drainage of fluid from the eye.

New laser procedures

Earlier laser cyclophotocoagulation methods were used for advanced glaucoma that didn’t respond to trabecular surgeries or tube shunts. They sought to reduce the eye’s fluid-forming capacity. But they could produce severe inflammation that could reduce vision. Two new surgeries — endocyclophotocoagulation and micropulse cyclophotocoagulation — have proven useful even before the glaucoma has reached advanced stages.

At Millennium Park, we pride ourselves on staying at the forefront of vision technology. These MIGS are just the latest example of how we’re helping our patients cope with the evils of glaucoma.

Is it time for your next eye exam? If you’re over 40 you need to have one every year. Call us at Millennium Park Eye Center, (312) 996-2020, to schedule your appointment.


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