What Are Tube Shunts?

Portrait of senior woman with blue shirt Your eye doctor at Longwood Eye and LASIK Center will describe tube shunts as a surgical treatment used to reduce pressure in your eye. Tube shunts are small thin tubes that are surgically placed in your eye to create an alternative pathway for the fluid to drain and escape to help reduce intraocular pressure. This procedure can be done along with other glaucoma surgeries, such as laser treatments, or on its own, depending on your needs.

What Happens During the Placement of Tube Shunts?

The tube shunt is inserted into the front section of the eye between the cornea and the iris. The procedure is done as an outpatient procedure by our doctor, under local anesthesia on both eyes. Once the tube is placed, it helps to reduce intraocular pressure by allowing fluid to drain from your eye and go into a reservoir or disperse directly into your bloodstream.

What Are the Benefits of Using Tube Shunts?

Using tube shunts can provide multiple benefits in treating glaucoma. It can help to lower intraocular pressure, reduce the risk of vision loss resulting from glaucoma, and improve visual acuity and quality of life in patients with glaucoma. Additionally, because this treatment does not require regular follow-ups or medication refills, it may be more cost-effective than other treatments.

What Are the Risks of Using Tube Shunts?

Be sure to discuss all of the potential risks and benefits of tube shunts with your eye doctor before proceeding with treatment. As with any surgical procedure, there are common risks associated with the placement of a tube shunt. These include the risk of:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Cataract formation
  • Damage to the cornea or retina
  • Dislodging or blocking of the tube shunt

While this particular treatment reduces intraocular pressure, it is not a cure for glaucoma. Regular follow-up visits at the Longwood Eye and LASIK Center of Massachusetts and specific glaucoma medications may still be necessary even after the surgery is completed.

Is the Placement of Tube Shunts Right for Me?

Learn more about this and other solutions for glaucoma available at our office by calling 800-676-5050 and scheduling an appointment at any of our four office locations.


For Urgent/Problem Appointments, please call the office and do not submit an online form request

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