Goniotomy Near Birmingham, AL

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What is goniotomy?

Board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Young H. Choi not only offers state-of-the-art eye care to adults but children as well. Goniotomy is a distinctive procedure that is used to treat infants and children who are born with glaucoma. Congenital glaucoma is an ocular condition that causes nerve damage due to high eye pressure. When too much fluid is built up in the eye, it can create abnormal pressure that hinders healthy vision. In some cases, infants may be born blind due to the heightened levels of pressure. During the procedure, the front of the eye is examined with a specialized tool to locate the drainage system of the eye (trabecular meshwork). From there, a new opening is made in the eye to allow for proper drainage, which in turn, decreases fluid pressure. Reach out to Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center in Vestavia Hills, AL near Birmingham to learn more.

Who is a good candidate for goniotomy?

Goniotomy is reserved for infants and young children who were born with glaucoma. At Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center, Dr. Choi will perform a series of tests to assess your child's ocular health. For older children, a visual acuity test can be performed to measure the strength of their vision at different distances. In infants, Dr. Choi will dilate the pupils to examine the retina and optic nerve. In addition, a tonometry test will be conducted to check the fluid pressure within the eyes. From there, Dr. Choi can discuss whether goniotomy is a good option.

How is goniotomy performed?

Goniotomy is an outpatient procedure that is performed with general anesthesia and takes about 20 minutes to perform. To start, Dr. Choi will numb the eye and use a lens called a goniolens to examine the outer structure of the eye. He will use this specialized device to assess the function of the eye's drainage system. A microscopic opening is then created within the trabecular meshwork to allow fluid to flow more freely from the eye. A goniotomy has shown great success rates in children with congenital glaucoma, but a second surgery may be needed later on.

What to expect after surgery

Once the procedure is complete, Dr. Choi will meet with you to review all post-operative care instructions to follow at home to ensure optimal healing for your child. Antibiotics and medicated eye drops will be prescribed for the first two weeks. Additional oral medication may also be prescribed up to ten days to help reduce intraocular pressure (IOP). After about 3 – 6 weeks Dr. Choi will reexamine your child's eye(s) under anesthesia or mild sedation. This exam will need to be repeated every three months for the first year and then every six months the second year. Once your child turns three or four years old, follow-up exams can be conducted once a year without anesthesia.  

How much does goniotomy cost?

Since goniotomy is often considered medically necessary to treat congenital glaucoma, it may be covered in part by insurance. Our office will contact your provider to determine if any coverage is offered with your specific insurance plan. From there, we can send over all the necessary paperwork to your insurer. When you first visit our office, we will review the cost of surgery so you know what to expect and can plan accordingly for any out-of-pocket costs. We accept many payment forms, including CareCredit.

pediatric glaucoma surgery

If your child was born with glaucoma and you are searching for answers, contact Young H. Choi, M.D. Eye Surgery Center in Vestavia Hills, AL today. Dr. Choi is a highly trained specialist who has years of extensive experience in ocular surgery. He can take his time to sit down with you to discuss all the benefits and risks of goniotomy. We understand that such a prognosis can seem scary, but we are here to help guide you through all the safe and effective treatment options that are available for your child. 

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.