Primary baerveldt versus trabeculectomy study after 5 years of follow-up

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Purpose: Although the Baerveldt glaucoma implant (BGI) initially was reserved for refractory glaucoma, its role in the surgical management of glaucoma has shifted towards a primary treatment choice. We performed a randomized prospective study to compare BGI surgery and trabeculectomy (TE) in patients without previous ocular surgery. Methods: We included 119 glaucoma patients without previous ocular surgery. One eye of each subject was randomized to either a BGI or TE. Follow-up visits were at 1 day, 2 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months and 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 years postoperatively. Primary outcomes were intraocular pressure (IOP) and failure rate. Secondary outcomes were medication, anterior chamber laser flare value and complications. Results: After 5 years, an IOP of 12.7 ± 3.9 mmHg (mean ± SD) was achieved in the TE group and 12.9 ± 3.9 mmHg in the BGI group. We found no statistically significant difference in failure rate between the groups (p = 0.72). More BGI patients needed additional medication to control their IOP (85%; 1.9 ± 1.2 types of glaucoma medication) compared to the TE patients (57%; 0.5 ± 0.9 types of glaucoma medication). Diplopia was significantly more present in the BGI group than in the TE group (27% versus 4%; p < 0.001). The self-limiting complication rate was similar in both groups. Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that, in the long term, the final IOP and failure rate are similar after TE and BGI surgery. However, the need for additional medication after BGI surgery is higher than after TE. Also, the increased risk of developing diplopia after BGI surgery must be taken into consideration.




Islamaj, E., Wubbels, R. J., & de Waard, P. W. T. (2020). Primary baerveldt versus trabeculectomy study after 5 years of follow-up. Acta Ophthalmologica, 98(4), 400–407.

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