Glaucoma Drainage Devices

There are many different ways to treat the disease glaucoma. In addition to conventional and laser surgery, there are a variety of drugs that are used for reducing the intraocular pressure of the eye. If their methods alone fail, doctors may suggest implants. also known as Glaucoma Drainage Devices.

The main idea behind implants or the Glaucoma Drainage Devices is to enhance standard glaucoma surgery by positioning a device that will help keep the surgically created drainage opening from closing down. This include tube through which the aqueous fluid passes. Others are solid and promote the flow of fluid along the surface of the implant.

No matter how but all the implants aim to do the same task to decrease the intraocular pressure by increasing outflow of the fluid from your eye.

When the implants are used

It is thought that most of the implants during these years are done by the surgeons which are thought to be complicated glaucoma. The Glaucoma implants may be considered in form of glaucoma following injuries to the eye also. They are used in case of congenital glaucoma where surgeries have not worked and in case of diabetic glaucoma. Implants can also be used when the glaucoma treatment has not been successful.

Implant Surgery

When the implant surgery is done most of the device is positioned on the outside of the eye under the conjunctiva. A small tube or filament is carefully inserted into the front chamber of the eye, in front of the iris. The fluid drains through the tube or along the filament into the area which is at the back end of the implant. The fluid eventually collects here and is reabsorbed.


Since the implant is a foreign body there is often an inflammatory reaction immediately after the surgery takes place. This is associated with a sudden rise in the intraocular pressure and it subsides within four to six weeks. The success of an implant is to be related to the amount of the surface area covered by the implant for drainage. The larger the implant surface the greater is the success rate. However, with the greater size, the complication also increases. There is the possibility of the low intraocular pressure the condition is known as hypotony. The implant may also interfere with the external muscles that move the eye from side to side. There is also a possibility of excessive scarring around the external drainage portion of the device which might block the reabsorption of fluid, this could lead to inadequate pressure.