What is ABiC™?
ABiC™ is based on the same principles as angioplasty. It uses microcatheter technology, provided by the iTrack Surgical System, to enlarge your eye’s natural drainage system, improving outflow and lowering intraocular pressure.
Who will benefit from ABiC™?
It is necessary to first undergo an ophthalmic examination to determine your eligibility for ABiC™. ABiC™ is an effective surgical option for the majority of glaucoma patients. If you fit into any of the following categories, you’re a good candidate for ABiC™:
- If you have primary open-angle, pseudoexfoliation, or pigmentary glaucoma. (If you’re not sure, ask Dr. Mahanti)
- If you are intolerant of glaucoma medications or have difficulty taking them as prescribed.
- If you are about to have cataract surgery and wish to use this opportunity to reduce the number of glaucoma medications you are currently taking.
- If it is difficult for you to commit to regular follow-up treatments, due to finances, lack of transportation, or other limitations.
- If you have a history of failed ALT (argon laser trabeculoplasty) treatments.
- ABiC™ is also suitable for patients who wear contact lenses. Patients with contact lenses are unable to undergo the traditional forms of glaucoma surgery (trabeculectomy or shunt).
What happens during the procedure?
First, Dr. Mahanti will make a small incision in the eye. A microcatheter designed specifically for ABiC™ is then inserted into the eye’s circumferential drainage canal, which may be reduced in size or closed due to the high pressure in your eye. Dr. Mahanti will advance the microcatheter 360 degrees around the canal to open up the channel and enlarge it. Once the end of the catheter has circumnavigated to its point of entry, the microcatheter tip is slowly pulled back while sterile, viscoelastic gel is injected into the canal to dilate it to 2-3 times its normal size. Enlarging and flushing through the drainage canal and adjacent outflow channels helps the aqueous fluid to drain properly. The microcatheter is then withdrawn from the eye. It is important to note that there are no permanent implants or devices left in the eye.
By restoring your eye’s natural drainage system, the pressure inside your eye is usually lowered.
One to three days after the procedure, your intraocular pressure should drop significantly. And of course, Dr. Mahanti will want to re-check the treated eye during periodic follow-up visits.
What are the side effects of ABiC™?
One of the key advantages of ABiC™ is its high safety profile. It is associated with significantly fewer risks, both in number and severity, than traditional glaucoma surgeries. It is important to note, however, that all surgeries have risks associated with them. The most common risks associated with ABiC™ are:
- Bleeding in the Eye
- Intraocular Pressure “Spikes”
- The Formation of a Bleb
- Hypotony (IOP too low)