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Glaucoma Drainage Devices

Glaucoma drainage devices are increasingly used as the primary surgical treatment of glaucoma (damage to the optic nerve due). They may also be used to attain desirable intraocular pressure control by increasing the outflow of fluid from your eye, when other medical therapy and laser surgeries fail or cannot be performed.

In glaucoma drainage device surgery, the device is placed outside the eye – toward the back, under the conjunctiva (outermost layer of tissue). A small tube is inserted into either the front chamber or back chamber of the eye. Drainage of fluid takes place through the tube into the back end of the device where it collects and is reabsorbed. 

There are a number of glaucoma drainage devices available with the most common including the Baerveldt tube, the Molteno tube and the Ahmed Valve.

As with all surgical procedures, you may experience complications including inflammatory reaction, clogging, scarring, and corneal injury due to the mechanical contact between the tube and the tissues of the eye.

  • Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists.
  • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
  • UNSW Australia
  • The University of Sydney
  • Sydney & Sydney Eye Hospital
  • Westmead Hospital
  • Save Sight Institute