Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

New Glaucoma Procedure Demonstrated to Physicians

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

New Glaucoma Procedure Demonstrated to Physicians

Article excerpt

A painless, permanent outpatient procedure to treat the eye disease glaucoma will be explained and demonstrated to physicians from throughout the world in Oklahoma City this weekend.

Dr. Wayne March, director of glaucoma services at the Dean A. McGee Eye Institute of the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, developed the procedure, called laser sclerostomy. It uses a special laser probe to make a small opening into the eye to drain fluid.

Glaucoma, the third leading cause of blindness in the United States, is caused by high pressure in the eye, and March said its effects are irreversible. He said the procedure ``makes an extra outlet'' to drain eye fluid and reduce pressure.

March demonstrated the procedure Friday on a 23-year-old Ponca City woman who previously had undergone traditional laser surgery on her left eye. Within 15 minutes after an assistant began swabbing her eye with a local anesthetic, the procedure was over and Tina Arvona was walking around the room answering questions.

``It tingled a little bit,'' Arvona said of the procedure.

Paul Robertson, a 47-year-old pharmacist from Lawton who had the procedure three years ago, said his disease has been under control since then.

``The present surgical treatment for glaucoma has changed very little over the past 100 years,'' March said. ``This is definitely a medical breakthrough that we want to share with the world. By 1993, we anticipate that this will be the major procedure used to treat glaucoma.''

March said the procedure is so simple it could be done in most settings, ``and the patients will not have to come to a major eye center.''

He said the procedure has been under development for six years and has been used ``on over 200 patients'' here and in other research centers in San Francisco, Boston and Louisville, Ky. …

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