Filtration surgery rates drop

November 10, 2008

The introduction of anti-glaucoma medications has reduced the need for filtration surgery, according to study results published online ahead of print by Eye.

The introduction of anti-glaucoma medications has reduced the need for filtration surgery, according to study results published online ahead of print by Eye.

P.A. Keane of the Department of Ophthalmology at Waterford Regional Hospital, Ireland and colleagues conducted a 20-year retrospective review of patients undergoing glaucoma filtration surgery (n=760) at Waterford Regional Hospital between January 1986 and December 2005.

Over the review period, three new anti-glaucoma medicines became available. The number of filtration surgeries performed fell annually: from 1986–1995, the mean annual figure was 23.75 per surgeon; by the 1998–2005 period, this had fallen to 12.69 procedures per surgeon per year. The age of patients undergoing surgery did not decrease across the review period.

The team concluded that, as the decrease in filtration surgeries was not correlated to patient age, the introduction of topical anti-glaucoma medication was the most likely cause for the reduction, although it remains unclear whether this is an absolute reduction or merely a delay in the need for surgery.