PORT ELIZABETH OPHTHALMOLOGIST’S

XEN GLAUCOMA IMPLANT

The XEN glaucoma implant is a minimally invasive glaucoma implant which does not require large cuts to the eyeball as required with all of the older glaucoma procedures. The stent is microscopically small– 6mm long and less than a millimeter thick and once implanted not visible to the naked eye.

It has been used and tested extensively in Europe and USA and is currently one of the preferred glaucoma devices in use in the major UK academic hospitals due to its favourable safety profile and efficacy. The device has been used for 9 years now in many places across the world and this updated information sheet includes our experience with more than 50 implants.

The stent is injected through a small self-sealing corneal incision using a simple injector. It is inserted into the eye using only a needle and the procedure takes only a few moments and is painless. Most of our patients thus far have either come off glaucoma drops completely or only need one drop to maintain safe eye pressures.

The stent has a very favourable side-effect and complication rate. We know from having personally put in more than 50 stents that the most common complications and side-effects are occasional bleeding into the eye which in most cases resolves spontaneously in a day or two. Other uncommon problems reported include infection (Endophthalmitis), Over-filtration with large bleb formation and inflammation.

In about 1 out of 4 patients, the stent can become blocked by scar tissue that forms around the stent tip. This may require a second small non-invasive procedure called bleb needling to open the outflow tract again. In this procedure, a small needle is used to break open the scar tissue and to also inject anti-scarring medication around the XEN stent.

Please feel free to visit the device website to view an educational video on the device and how it is implanted, and to access more information on the stent and how it works.