Patients at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital (MREH) are the first in the UK to test a new glaucoma treatment.
The eyeWatch is a new fully adjustable surgical implant that drains excess eye fluid that is caused by glaucoma. It is the first ever glaucoma device that enables post-operative flow adjustment in the clinic.
The eyeWatch, which is manufactured by Rheon Medical, includes an implant that is inserted through the skin at the front of the eye. It is then connected to a drainage tube that filters excess fluid to the back of the eye where it is reabsorbed. There is a built-in magnetically controlled flow mechanism that allows the surgeon to open and close the device using a magnetic pen.
The device was trialled by three patients in Manchester.
Consultant ophthalmic surgeon at the MREH and lead on the Manchester arm of the eyeWatch study, Leon Au, said: “Using the eyeWatch magnetic pen, we can easily change the opening and closing of the drainage device without any additional invasive surgery, until the eye pressure stabilises.”
The 18-month study aims to test the contribution that eyeWatch makes to the treatment of advanced glaucoma. Patients receive checks days after surgery, as well as six and 12 months later.
Dr Au explained that the hospital has previously been involved in a number of fixed flow devices, especially for the treatment of glaucoma.
“However, with the eyeWatch I’m excited to see for the first time a drainage device that is easy to adjust and aims to tackle advanced glaucoma,” he shared.
Chief operating officer at Rheon Medical, Adan Villamarin, said: “Our aim in developing this technology is to offer a less invasive treatment pathway for people living with advanced glaucoma.”
“Current surgical treatment aims to reduce pressure build-up but does not allow for subsequent control of pressure, meaning a patient may require further operations. The eyeWatch system allows for simple and accurate control of intraocular pressure, providing an alternative clinical treatment pathway which we hope in time can be developed for all types of glaucoma,” he highlighted.