Innovative Surgery for Eyes with Advanced glaucoma
Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide and is expected to have 112M patients by 2040. Despite treatment, 10% of the patients will be blind by the end of their life. The main risk factor of glaucoma is intraocular pressure (IOP). Treatments focusses on lowering the IOP to halt progression of the disease. First, with medication and when this is not effective, with bleb forming surgery. A part of the patients can be helped with (micro) shunt implantations; however, this technique is not as effective in IOP lowering as conventional (long-tube) glaucoma implants and is therefore not suitable for all patients. Nonetheless, 50% of the conventional implants fail within 5 years. A new miniature glaucoma implant that is as effective in lowering the IOP as conventional glaucoma implants, but is much smaller, has been developed in an InSciTe consortium with Maastricht University, Maastricht UMC+, Eindhoven University of Technology, and InnFocus inc. a Santen company. The implant has shown to be successful in animal studies and is now prepared for its first-in-man study.