Flap-sparing canaloplasty: a modified approach to Schlemm's canal.


Department of Ophthalmology, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (formerly Medical University of Southern Africa), Medunsa, Pretoria, South Africa. [Email]


OBJECTIVE : To present a modified surgical technique for canaloplasty with the Stegmann Canal Expander obviating the need for lamellar scleral dissection.
METHODS : After limbal peritomy of the conjunctiva, the sclera is not dissected in the classic lamellar fashion with superficial and deep scleral flaps but is successively 'scratched' down by radial incision until Schlemm's canal (SC) is opened (trench cut). Following canal opening and viscodilation with a microcannula and sodium hyaluronidate, one Stegmann Canal Expander is implanted on either side of the canal ostia and the scleral incision is closed watertight.
RESULTS : Twenty-seven eyes with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) were consecutively operated on using this modified technique. In all eyes, SC was successively opened, but exposure of the choroid and rupture of trabeculo-Descemet's membrane with iris prolapse or filtering blebs were not found. Adverse events included trimming of the expander in one eye for incomplete implantation during surgery, and transient microhyphaema in five eyes post-surgery. Mean intraocular pressure (IOP) was 31.9 mmHg ± 6.0 (SD) before surgery and 14.0 mmHg ± 2.5 (SD) 6 months and 15.2 mmHg ± 1.95 (SD) 12 months after surgery.
CONCLUSIONS : The flap-sparing, trench-cut incision technique may reduce the risk of complications in canaloplasty with the Stegmann Canal Expander while effectively lowering IOP in POAG patients.


Canaloplasty,Non-penetrating glaucoma surgery,Schlemm’s canal,Stegmann Canal Expander,