Personalising surgical treatments for glaucoma patients.Prog Retin Eye Res. 2020 Jun 18 [Online ahead of print]PR
Surgical treatments for glaucoma have relied for decades on traditional filtering surgery such as trabeculectomy and, in more challenging cases, tubes. Antifibrotics were introduced to improve surgical success in patients at increased risk of failure but have been shown to be linked to a greater incidence of complications, some being potentially vision-threatening. As our understanding of glaucoma and its early diagnosis have improved, a more individualised management has been suggested. Recently the term "precision medicine" has emerged as a new concept of an individualised approach to disease management incorporating a wide range of individual data in the choice of therapeutic modalities. For glaucoma surgery, this involves evaluation of the right timing, individual risk factors, targeting the correct anatomical and functional outflow pathways and appropriate prevention of scarring. As a consequence, there is an obvious need for better knowledge of anatomical and functional pathways and for more individualised surgical approaches with new, less invasive and safer techniques allowing for earlier intervention. With the recent advent of minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) a large number of novel devices have been introduced targeting potential new sites of the outflow pathway for lowering intraocular pressure (IOP). Their popularity is growing in view of the relative surgical simplicity and apparent lack of serious side effects. However, these new surgical techniques are still in an era of early experiences, short follow-up and lack of evidence of their superiority in safety and cost-effectiveness over the traditional methods. Each year several new devices are introduced while others are withdrawn from the market. Glaucoma continues to be the primary cause of irreversible blindness worldwide and access to safe and efficacious treatment is a serious problem, particularly in the emerging world where the burden of glaucoma-related blindness is important and concerning. Early diagnosis, individualised treatment and, very importantly, safe surgical management should be the hallmarks of glaucoma treatment. However, there is still need for a better understanding of the disease, its onset and progression, the functional and structural elements of the outflow pathways in relation to the new devices as well as their long-term IOP-lowering efficacy and safety. This review discusses current knowledge and the future need for personalised glaucoma surgery.