MIGS: The New Age of Glaucoma Surgery

Lady Having Eye Test Examination

Any method of glaucoma surgery centers on reducing pressure in the eye in order to decrease or prevent optic nerve damage. However, most of the methods that are used to accomplish this involve major surgery and are highly invasive. While these glaucoma treatments are typically quite effective, the methods can lead to many potential complications.

What is MIGS?

MIGS, or minimally invasive glaucoma surgery, is not a single type of treatment, but a group of surgeries that were developed to minimize the potential for complications stemming from glaucoma surgery. The equipment used for MIGS procedures is microscopic in size, meaning that incisions are extremely small. These tiny incisions make these treatment options far less invasive than traditional glaucoma surgeries and carry less risk for the patient.

Types of MIGS

There are four basic categories for MIGS procedures:

  • Miniaturized versions of trabeculectomy – Fluid is drained from the eye using microscopic-sized tubes that are inserted directly into the eye.
  • Trabecular bypass operations – Often the trabecular meshwork is the cause of restricted fluid drainage of the eye. Surgeries in this category involve using tiny devices and equipment that can cut that and nothing else. No other tissues are damaged, and the eye can drain.
  • Totally internal or suprachoroidal shunts – This procedure can help most levels of glaucoma, even moderately severe. Tiny tubes are inserted through microscopic incisions to facilitate the drainage of fluid from the eye.
  • Milder, gentler versions of laser photocoagulation – Until recently, laser cyclophotocoagulation was a last resort for advanced glaucoma that had not responded to other treatments like tube shunts or trabeculectomy. However, treatments under the MIGS procedures like endocyclophotocoagulation and micropulse cyclophotocoagulation have been proven effective before glaucoma becomes so advanced.

Florida Eye Specialists offers the most up to date MIGS procedures currently available. Dr. Kenzo Koike, Dr. Kathryn Freidl, and Dr. Rajesh Shetty specialize in MIGS and are available for consult. If you have glaucoma and are looking for a gentler, less invasive treatment, request an appointment at one of our seven locations around Jacksonville to find out if MIGS is right for you.