Glaucoma, Local, News, Therapies

Dr Nathan Kerr performs Victorian-first PRESERFLO MicroShunt procedure

Glaucoma surgeon Dr Nathan Kerr has performed Victoria’s first procedure with the PRESERFLO MicroShunt, first approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in mid-2021.

Kerr, who completed a fellowship at the prestigious Moorfields Eye Hospital in London and is now bring “game-changing” glaucoma surgeries to Australia, treated the first patient on 27 January at Vermont Private Hospital in Melbourne.

Dr Nathan Kerr.

He said more than 300,000 Australians have glaucoma, the majority requiring lifelong use of eye drops. However, eye drops may be inadequate for some, putting them at risk of vision loss and blindness.

He said the PRESERFLO MicroShunt was a new procedure that may now help people with refractory glaucoma. It is a small tube surgically implanted to relieve high intraocular pressure (IOP).

“Rapid advances in technology mean we can now offer patients a range of options to safely lower their eye pressure, reducing or in many cases even eliminating the need for glaucoma drops. Our focus is not only on saving sight, but improving quality of life.” Kerr add.

The PRESERFLO MicroShunt, supplied by Glaukos, is a controlled, ab externo filtration device designed to deliver a unique combination of efficacy and safety for patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG).

It is intended for the reduction of IOP in patients with POAG where IOP remains uncontrollable while on maximum tolerated medical therapy and/or where disease progression warrants surgery.

Engineered to control IOP while decreasing post-operative risk, the company said the PRESERFLO MicroShunt is 8.5mm in length and made from proprietary, biocompatible material called SIBS [poly(styrene- block-isobutylene-block-styrene)].

According to Glaukos, it is flexible and features a 70 μm lumen to optimise aqueous flow and decrease hypotony risk; a 3 mm distal tail enables formation of posterior bleb; the 1 mm fin prevents migration and periannular leakage and a bevelled tip visually aids in correct device orientation1-3

References:

  1. Baker D, Barnebey H, Moster M, et al. Ab-Externo MicroShunt versus Trabeculectomy in Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma. Ophthalmology. May 2021. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ophtha.2021.05.02
  2. Pinchuk L, Riss I, Batlle JF, et al. The development of a micro-shunt made from poly(styrene-block-isobutylene-block-styrene) to treat glaucoma. J Biomed Mater Res Part B. 2017;105B:211-221. DOI:10.1002/jbm.b.33525.
  3. Sadruddin O, Pinchuk L, Angeles R, Palmberg P. Ab externo implantation of the MicroShunt, a poly (styrene-block-isobutylene-block-styrene) surgical device for the treatment of primary open-angle glaucoma: a review. Eye Vis (Lond). 2019;6:36.

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