Ultrasound Cyclo Plasty in Eyes with Glaucoma

This article has been accepted and is currently in production


Glaucoma is a chronic disease caused by the progressive degeneration of the optical nerve fibers, resulting in decreased visual field that can lead to severe visual impairment, and eventually blindness. This manuscript describes a simple, surgeon-friendly, non-incisional technique, named Ultrasound Cyclo Plasty (UCP), for reducing intraocular pressure (IOP) in glaucoma patients. The technique determines a selective coagulation necrosis of the ciliary body; in addition, the stimulation of supra-choroidal and trans-scleral portions of the uveo-scleral outflow pathway has been recently proposed. UCP shows several technical improvements in ultrasound technology compared to previous techniques, providing more precise focusing on the target zone. The procedure is performed in the operating room under peribulbar anesthesia. Briefly, the coupling cone is put in contact with the eye and the ring probe, that contains six piezoelectric transducers which produce the ultrasound beams, is inserted inside it. Their proper centering over the ocular surface represents a crucial step for the correct targeting of the ciliary body. Sterile balanced salt solution is used to fill the empty spaces to ensure ultrasound acoustic propagation. Surgical treatment consists of the sequential automatic activation of each of the six transducers, for a total duration of less than 3 min. The patient leaves the hospital 1 h after the procedure with the treated eye patched. In the present study, 10 patients with open-angle glaucoma were followed-up during at least 12 months after the procedure. IOP was reduced at each interval compared to pre-operative, as well as the number of hypotensive medications. 20% of patients did not respond to the treatment, and needed subsequent surgery to better control IOP. Treatment tolerability was good, with no cases of hypotony or phthisis. The UCP procedure is simpler, faster, safer, and less invasive than traditional cyclodestructive procedures with similar results in reducing IOP.