Canaloplasty is an advanced surgical procedure used for patients with open-angle glaucoma, the most common type of glaucoma. It causes the fluid in the eye to drain too slowly through the eye's network of tiny drainage channels, resulting in an increased pressure within the eye. Canaloplasty is a minimally invasive treatment that can substantially reduce eye pressure.
During a canaloplasty, the surgeon will make a tiny incision to insert either a microcatheter or thin, flexible tube into the eye. The tubing is directed to the natural drainage canal of the eye, known as the Schlemm's Canal, which is where healthy eyes naturally drain. A sterile, surgical material called viscoelastic is introduced to the drainage channels in order to expand them. The tubing is removed and a suture is then placed in the canal and tightly tied, which serves to maintain the canal in an open position. The entire procedure typically lasts about 45 minutes.
After a canaloplasty, most patients' dependence on glaucoma medication is greatly reduced. Patients will be permitted to return home soon after the procedure. Most activities can typically be resumed a few days later. This safe treatment method provides a faster recovery period and lower risk of complications than traditional glaucoma procedures such as a trabeculectomy.