The LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) in Bhubaneswar launched advanced glaucoma surgery facility on March 13. LVPEI created history by being the first in East India to perform Viscocanalostomy, a type of non-penetrating glaucoma filtration surgery.
Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in India. It is a disorder associated with pressure in the eye and damages the optic nerve.
Dr. Aparna Rao, Glaucoma consultant, LVPEI, successfully performed viscocanalostomy on three patients between 38 and 62 years of age in February this year.
Dr Rao said, "Blindness from glaucoma can be prevented in over 80% of the cases but awareness level is extremely low. Even though early diagnosis can reduce progression of the disease and prevent blindness, 90% of glaucoma in the community goes undetected till complications arise."
Viscocanalostomy targets the Schlemm's canal, which is the main pathway for drainage of fluid or 'aqueous' out of the eye. Viscocanalostomy is advantageous for specific patients who have higher risk of complications when operated with standard procedure for glaucoma called Trabeculectomy.
Dr. Rao said, "Complications like hyphema, flat chamber, choroidal effusion, suprachoroidal haemorrhage, surgery induced cataract and endophthalmitis are low in this technique as the eye is not pierced as in conventional surgeries. Eight to ten glaucoma cases come to LVPEI each day and the cost of operation ranges from Rs.10,000 to Rs.80,000."