Glaucoma filtration surgery is effective but, like any invasive procedure, it comes at a cost. Not only can it induce short-term vision loss, but it can open patients up to infection, hypotony, scarring or cataracts.1 Now, researchers are singing the praises of an alternative to invasive surgery: micropulse transscleral cyclophotocoagulation. This noninvasive alternative to glaucoma filtration surgery effectively reduces intraocular pressure (IOP) in keratoplasty eyes, according to an Indianapolis-based research team.2

The investigators looked at 61 eyes of 57 patients who received laser treatment; 31 eyes received one treatment, 21 received two, eight received three, and one received four. At baseline, the patients’ mean IOP was 28mm Hg ± 11mm Hg. One month after the last treatment, that mean dropped to 17mm Hg ± 7mm Hg. At one year it sunk to 15mm Hg ± 5mm Hg.2

Six of those eyes (10%) received subsequent glaucoma filtration surgery. The mean number of anti-glaucoma medications patients were using before the initial treatment was 2.7. At last follow-up, that dropped to 2.2. Micropulse transscleral cyclophotocoagulation “reduced IOP by a mean of 35% at 12 months and was well-tolerated by most treated subjects,” the investigators explain.2 

1. Ou Y. Glaucoma surgery series: the risks and benefits of glaucoma surgery. Brightfocus Foundation. April 23, 2018. Accessed February 21, 2019.

2. Subramaniam K, Price M, Feng M, Price F. Micropulse transscleral cyclophotocoagulation in keratoplasty eyes. Cornea. February 6, 2019. [ePub ahead of print].