The Aquesys XEN® Microshunt aims to lower IOP by creating a subconjunctival drainage pathway and falls somewhere between traditional glaucoma filtering surgery and the MIGS procedures.
The XEN® injector can be utilized from an internal approach or more commonly an external approach to carefully place the microshunt through the scleral wall into the anterior chamber of the eye. This shunt placement creates a channel through the trabecular meshwork to reduce eye pressure by allowing the internal eye fluid (aqueous humor) to flow with relative ease through the new XEN® Microshunt into a reservoir (bleb) underneath the conjunctiva. The fluid is then absorbed by the body.
Anti-scarring medication such as Mitomycin (MMC) or 5-Flurouracil (5FU) is injected underneath the conjunctiva as one would with traditional glaucoma surgery to help avoid future scaring the help maintain a filtering reservoir (bleb). This procedure can be done as a stand alone or in combination with cataract surgery.
This is an outpatient procedure performed in an ambulatory surgery center. The surgery is usually done under local anesthesia with IV sedation and usually with a special eye nerve block. Your doctor will want to examine you in the office the following day and you will be prescribed a regimen of postoperative drops. For several weeks following the surgery, your ophthalmologist will observe your eye closely and examine you frequently.
It is not possible to predict your individual healing response to the surgery and it may take up to 12 weeks after your surgery for the healing to be complete. During this time, it is not unusual for your intraocular pressure, as well as vision to fluctuate and, depending on the situation, your surgeon might elect to intervene during your postoperative visits to help mitigate these responses. If surgery was combined with cataract surgery, or even in some cases when not, you will likely be ready to change your glasses prescription at around 6-8 weeks after surgery.