Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) has quickly become a highly sought-after treatment method for those suffering from the advanced stages of glaucoma. Similar to traditional glaucoma surgery, the primary goal of MIGS is to reduce overall eye pressure to prevent or reduce damage to the optical nerve. However, MIGS has proven much safer than traditional surgery, using microscopic-sized tools and tiny incisions, thus reducing the risk of complications.
There are many variations of MIGS that can be used to treat the varying stages of glaucoma as determined by our team of highly skilled ophthalmologists. Eye Health Vision Centers performs MIGS procedures at our Dartmouth, MA facility, as well as at the New Bedford Surgicenter. However, we provide comprehensive glaucoma exams at all of our offices. Schedule a consultation at our Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Fall River, or Taunton, MA location or our Middletown, RI location to learn if you are an ideal candidate for MIGS.
Diode Laser – Patients' eye pressures are often decreased after just one treatment with a diode laser, which can be used in-office and is typically well tolerated. The procedure works by slowing the production of fluid within the eye, in turn, reducing fluid build-up and pressure on the optical nerve.
iStent – The iStent micro-bypass device reduces optical pressure by creating a pathway through the eye, aiding in the draining of built-up fluid. The iStent is the smallest medical device ever implanted into humans and was approved by the FDA in 2012 for the treatment of glaucoma.
SLT Laser – Selective light therapy or SLT can be used as a standalone treatment or combined with other forms of MIGS for optimal results. This non-thermal nano-second laser stimulates the production of natural proteins within the eye to aid in the circulation and elimination of built-up fluid, ultimately reducing intraocular pressure.
Iridotomy Laser – For certain types of glaucoma, iridotomy laser treatment is the preferred procedure as it widens the path through which fluid can drain, leading to decreased pressure. This procedure has been the primary line of defense against open-angle glaucoma since 1984.
Micropulse Cyclophotocoagulation Laser Surgery – This customizable procedure can be used on many stages and types of glaucoma with successful outcomes. The treatment works by warming the ciliary tissues within the eye, allowing trapped fluid to drain and decreasing intraocular pressure, often preventing the progression of glaucoma.
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"I was referred to Dr. Westerfeld by my local Eye Dr who diagnosed me with a detached retina during my annual eye exam in July 2019. Dr. Westerfeld scheduled me the next day for surgery. I highly recommend Dr. Westerfeld, he immediately put all of my fears at ease and helped me overcome my anxiety over the reattachment surgery. He explained the procedure and importance of following all post op directions which allowed me to make a full and successful recovery."- P.L. / Google / Jan 26, 2021
Only a skilled ophthalmologist can determine whether or not you are a candidate for MIGS. There are many types of glaucoma each with varying degrees of severity. For this reason, the type of treatment that is likely to control your symptoms may be different than the next patient. During a consultation, a member of the Eye Health Vision Centers team will create a treatment plan and recommend a course of treatment. Generally speaking, candidates for MIGS are:
- 18 years of age or older
- Not receiving results from prescription eye drops
- Experiencing the difficulties of cataracts and glaucoma simultaneously
- Suffering from mild to moderate glaucoma
- Have attempted other methods of treatment unsuccessfully
What to Expect
What to expect during and after your MIGS treatment will vary according to the procedure chosen. Most of our MIGS treatments can be performed within our Dartmouth, MA facility as an outpatient procedure. Before beginning your procedure, a numbing eye drop will be administered to both of your eyes. If you have requested an additional type of sedation or anti-anxiety medication, that will also be administered prior to the procedure. Once you are comfortable, an eyelid holding device will be gently placed over your eyes, preventing you from blinking. Due to technological advancements, your procedure will likely only last a few minutes per eye and you should not experience discomfort.
Because these procedures are minimally invasive in nature, you will not need a long recovery. Any aftercare instructions you need will be provided to you at the time of your procedure and instructions will be given that you should closely adhere to. You should schedule and be sure to attend several follow-up visits after your MIGS procedure. These appointments are intended to allow our vision experts to monitor your healing and determine whether additional glaucoma treatment will be necessary to improve your vision and slow the progression of the disease.
Fight Back Against Glaucoma
Not so long ago, traditional glaucoma surgery was the only option for patients in the advanced stages of the disease. However, with MIGS, patients can see improved vision and decreased symptoms with a procedure that will not require a long recovery period. Eye Health Vision Centers is proud to utilize the most advanced technologies on the market to help you fight back against glaucoma. Contact one of our greater South Coast area facilities today to schedule your consultation.