Information About Goniotomy

Submitted on March 27, 2012

What Is Goniotomy?

Goniotomy is a surgical procedure which is used to treat congenital glaucoma. Goniotomy is a procedure that is performed only on children. Keep in mind that Goniotomy is only carried out if the cornea (the clear covering) over the iris (the colored part) of the eye is not cloudy. Congenital glaucoma occurs when some of the structures in the interior (anterior) part of the eye do not develop properly. These structures include the ciliary body and the iris which produce the aqueous fluid needed in the eye. These structures in children who suffer with congenital glaucoma are overlapped. This results in blocking the trabecular meshwork (a group of tiny canals located in the drainage angle). This trabecular meshwork is the main drainage system for the aqueous fluid in the eye. Due to the blockage, the trabecular meshwork becomes thicker and this also leads to a narrowing of the drainage holes in the meshwork. All this leads to excess fluid accumulating in the eye. This can cause pressure in the eye and also damage the internal structures in the eye and cause glaucoma.

Procedure and CPT Code

The purpose behind a Goniotomy procedure is to clear the obstruction to the fluid being drained. This in turn leads to lowering the intraocular pressure. Goniotomy helps to improve the child's vision after surgery.

It is important to remember that Goniotomy is successful in treating congenital glaucoma about 80 % to 90% of the time, when the symptoms are caught early. Studies show that if symptoms start in a child between 1 month to two years old, there are chances of the surgery being a success. Keep in mind that Goniotomy is not successful in children who suffered from glaucoma later in childhood or had this eye condition at birth. There are many times when the Goniotomy procedure has to be repeated. Research shows that this procedure has to be repeated in about 50% of the eyes of the children who have already had this surgical procedure.

The procedure itself involves using a lens called a goniolens. This lens helps the doctor to see the anterior chamber of the eye (the front part of the eye). Then an opening is made in the trabecular meshwork where the fluid drains from the eye. This new opening in the trabecular meshwork provides a way for the fluid to flow out of the eye. Other concerns with regards to the procedure, its reparation, side effects as also the goniotomy CPT code can be best discussed with the doctor.

The above information will answer your question to 'what is goniotomy'.