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Stent Surgery Could Benefit Select Glaucoma Patients

Last Updated: July 31, 2017.

Stent surgery using a 6-mm-long stent made of gelatin material seems promising for patients with glaucoma, according to a report from the University of Michigan.

MONDAY, July 31, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Stent surgery using a 6-mm-long stent made of gelatin material seems promising for patients with glaucoma, according to a report from the University of Michigan.

Researchers from the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center are making use of a 6-mm-long stent to relieve intraocular pressure. The XEN Gel Stent, which is made of a soft but permanent gelatin material, is injected through a small self-sealing corneal incision using a preloaded injector.

The stent, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in November 2016, represents a new way to treat glaucoma, distinct from the current treatment approach that includes medical therapy, followed by laser trabeculoplasty to treat the drainage angle, and trabulectomy or a glaucoma draining device. About one dozen XEN implants have been performed at Kellogg, but the option is only suitable for specific patients. The procedures are usually faster than trabulectomy and tube shunt surgeries.

"Overall, this is a potentially safer alternative to traditional glaucoma filtration surgery," Kellogg eye specialist Manjool Shah, M.D., said in a statement. "But with any implant, there is a theoretical risk of implant exposure."

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