Aim: Long-term data of the postoperative management following Baerveldt tube surgery (BVT) is currently limited. This study aims to evaluate the outcome and the safety profile of internal ligation suture removal after BVT surgery for refractory glaucoma.
Materials and methods: A prospective, consecutive, non-comparative case series of patients previously undergoing BVT 350 mm2 surgery with 0.4 mg/mL mitomycin C (MMC), 3/0 intraluminal suture (Supramid) insertion, and 10/0 nylon external ligation suture(s). For each patient, data was collected over 12 months after internal ligation suture removal. Follow-up assessments looked at intraocular pressure (IOP), complication rate, and postoperative number of glaucoma medications. Definition of success was adopted as per the World Glaucoma Association recommendations.
Results: Twenty-four patients were included. On average, Supramid was removed at 22 ± 18.2 weeks following BVT surgery. Preoperatively, the mean IOP was 30.9 ± 12.6 mm Hg and the average antiglaucoma medications were 1.95 ± 1.13. At 12 months, the mean IOP was 15.2 ± 5.3 mm Hg and the mean number of glaucoma medications was 1.3 ± 0.2. Qualified success with IOP ≤ 21 mm Hg and IOP ≤ 15 mm Hg was achieved in 62.5% and 33.3%, respectively. Only two patients developed hypotony following Supramid removal; both resolved spontaneously within 1 month.
Conclusion: Our results show a good IOP reduction and safety profile at 1 year from internal ligation suture removal following BVT. A drop in IOP of approximately 50% from the preoperative IOP can be expected.
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