MIGS is an acronym which stands for minimally invasive glaucoma surgery. This refers to a range of implants, devices and techniques which are used to treat glaucoma by reducing the pressure in the eye (intraocular pressure, or IOP).
Glaucoma is a serious life changing disease that can threaten your vision and impact your daily life. It is the leading cause of blindness and if it goes undetected, it can cause permanent damage to your eyes. It is a disease that affects the optic nerve (the nerve which transmits signals to your brain to interpret the images you see). If left untreated, glaucoma causes loss of vision.
In healthy eyes there is a constant flow of fluid in to and out of the eye which maintains a normal pressure in the eye. When there is glaucoma in the eye a build up of this fluid causes a rise in pressure. This is likely due to a blockage or clog in the pathway for the fluid to leave the eye. The resulting rise in pressure causes damage to the optic nerve. MIGS improves the drainage of the fluid out of the eye.
The terms “Minimally invasive” means that your surgeon will use tiny incisions and microscopic equipment, which have been designed to reduce risk compared to other more traditional procedures such as a trabeculectomy.
MIGS procedures include:
XEN Gel Stent
The XEN Gel Stent is new treatment option for glaucoma. It is an implant placed into the eye which is a small tube made of gelatin material. It is incredibly thin (as thin as a human hair). The stent is placed in to the eye and creased a new pathway for the fluid to leave the eye. This helps to keep the eye pressure at a normal level. XEN Gel Stent is not only safe and effective but it is also less invasive than standard glaucoma treatments.
The Hydrus is an eyelash-sized device which is put into the main drainage channel of the eye (called Schlemm’s Canal). It acts as a scaffold to hold the drainage channel open and allow the fluid in the eye to drain, reducing IOP. It is made of nickel and aluminium.
A Preserflo microshunt is a micro-tube which is inserted into the eye to lower pressure and reduce the need for eye drops or medication. The shunt is made of a synthetic material which is non-reactive and biocompatible called SIBS. It is not metallic so will not be affected by airport scanners, MRI machines or CT scanners. The Preserflo cannot cure glaucoma, but it will reduce the eye pressure and prevent any further damage to the optic nerve and further vision loss.
The iStent is a one millimetre tube that is inserted into the natural drainage channel of the eye. It is made of titanium. It aims to bypass blockages in the drainage channel and so improve the flow of the fluid out of the eye and reduce IOP. It is common to have two or maybe even three iStent devices implanted into the eye to improve the chances of a good reduction in IOP.
If you would like to discuss glaucoma treatment options with our team please contact us and we will be happy to help.
This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.