Are MIGS Procedures Effective for Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes damage to the optic nerve. Also called the sneak thief of sight, glaucoma often has no symptoms until it has advanced considerably. 

Glaucoma often doesn’t cause vision changes until your optic nerve is severely damaged. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to permanent blindness.

One way eye doctors treat glaucoma is through MIGS, also known as minimally invasive glaucoma surgery. Keep reading to learn if MIGS procedures are effective for treating glaucoma!

How Is Glaucoma Treated?

Glaucoma causes damage to the optic nerve due to elevated eye pressure inside the eye. Over time, high eye pressure results in irreversible vision loss. 

Although there is no cure for glaucoma, it can be treated or controlled depending on its severity. The first course of action many eye doctors take to treat glaucoma is prescribing eye drops to lower the pressure.

If eye drops do not successfully lower the eye pressure to a normal level, the next step in treatment is often a laser or surgical procedure, such as MIGS. These options aim to improve fluid drainage inside your eye, therefore bringing the pressure down.

MIGS Versus Traditional Glaucoma Surgeries

Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) provides an advanced alternative to glaucoma treatment. MIGS is a group of procedures that can minimize eye pressure to prevent optic nerve damage and vision loss.

Although traditional glaucoma surgeries can help reduce eye pressure, they come with risks like infection, corneal swelling, and sometimes excessively low eye pressure. Most eye doctors avoid traditional surgeries until they’ve tried other less invasive treatments.

MIGS offers the same benefits as traditional glaucoma procedures but with less risk. Because MIGS has a lower risk, it allows earlier surgical intervention. 

There are different types of MIGS. Some increase the outflow of the fluid inside the eye, while others decrease its production.

Good Candidates for MIGS

In some severe cases of glaucoma, MIGS cannot lower eye pressure to the level required. Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery is most effective for patients with mild to moderate glaucoma. 

You can also be a good candidate for MIGS if you:

  • Are a high-risk glaucoma patient.
  • Have glaucoma that doesn’t warrant traditional surgery and its risks.
  • Can’t tolerate these treatment options.
  • Are unable to take medication exactly as prescribed.
  • Have high eye pressure that doesn’t respond to eye drops, oral medication, or laser therapy.
  • Are looking for a treatment option that’s more effective than medication but less invasive than traditional glaucoma surgeries.

Benefits of MIGS

One significant advantage of having a less invasive procedure like MIGS is a shorter recovery time. 

Traditional surgery has an average recovery period of two to three months. On the other hand, the recovery time for a MIGS procedure is only one to four weeks. 

Another benefit of MIGS is that your eye doctor can perform the procedure at the same time as your cataract surgery.

MIGS at Eye Physicians & Surgeons of Arizona

MIGS is offered at Eye Physicians & Surgeons of Arizona to help protect your vision and decrease your dependence on medication. Our expert eye doctors are extensively experienced in performing a range of MIGS and are at the forefront of cutting-edge technology.

Are you interested in learning if you are a candidate for MIGS? Schedule an appointment at Eye Physicians & Surgeons of Arizona in Phoenix, AZ, today.

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