10 April 2016 (Dubai, United Arab Emirates): Following the recent celebration of World Glaucoma Awareness Week in March (held under the theme of BIG – Beat Invisible Glaucoma), a Moorfields Eye Hospital Glaucoma expert is highlighting an innovation in the surgical treatment of the condition, using a type of surgical glue (Fibrin glue), which is a blood derivative and helps in the healing of eye tissue.
Glaucoma is called ‘the sneak thief of sight’ because there are no symptoms and once vision is lost, it is permanent. As much as 40 per cent of the field of vision can be lost without a person noticing. The World Health Organisation estimates that Glaucoma affects around 60 million people globally. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide and the number one cause of irreversible blindness. However, the disease is treatable and blindness can be prevented through early diagnosis.
Fibrin glue is used as a sealant to close the wounds and minimise bleeding without stitches during the complex surgical treatment of glaucoma whilst also saving time and making the procedure morecomfortable for patients, and reducing post operative complications. The glue is applied by normal medical syringes during the implantation of drainage tubes into the eye of a glaucoma patient, and also for the patching of grafts onto the eye, removing the need for traditional sutures, which can be unpredictable and uncomfortable.
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that cause progressive damage of the optic nerve. All glaucoma surgery procedures are designed to decrease the production of intraocular fluid (aqueous humor) or increase the outflow (drainage) of this fluid. Currently the goal of glaucoma surgery and other glaucoma treatment is to reduce or stabilize intraocular pressure (IOP) and when this is accomplished, damage to ocular structures – especially the optic nerve – may be prevented.
Dr. Mohammed Sohaib Mustafa, Consultant Glaucoma Surgeon at Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai, explains: “Fibrin glue has been used in glaucoma tube surgeries for some time but at Moorfields, we have perfected techniques for its use with tubes, which increase the comfort and reduce the complications for patients following surgery. It’s an innovative and novel technique in Complex Glaucoma Tube Surgery using fibrin glue for closure and grafting, using separate fibrinogen and thrombin syringes for complete control in the gluing technique giving excellent aesthetic results and enhancing comfort for patients aftersurgery.”
If left untreated, most types of glaucoma result in increasing visual damage and may lead to blindness. There is no simple cure for glaucoma yet, however it can be treated and blindness can be prevented through early diagnosis and acceptance of treatment. Treatment with eye drops or surgery (conventional or laser) can halt or slow-down the disease and prevent further vision loss.