Canaloplasty versus Trabeculectomy Testimonial from a Patient of Dr. David Richardson (San Marino Eye)

How does canaloplasty compare to Trabeculectomy? Let John and Mildred share with you their experience.

“I didn’t go through it but being his wife I saw first hand what he went through…”

I hope this helps anybody in making a decision just to hear what we’ve gone through.

I had glaucoma for about 25 years now.

I didn’t go through it but being his wife I saw, first-hand, what he went through.

My name is John Grimes, retired from Transamerica. I was using multiple drops, multiple times a day and it was really a lot of trouble.

In 2002, I had the full bleb surgery (Trabeculectomy) and I had multiple major problems since then. After the surgery it (IOP) was still high and that’s the way that they normally do it. And then they started taking out sutures and after they took out a few sutures, for some reason, it just completely went– the pressure complete was lost. And then the problems trying to solve that started. And still, to this day, exist.

Pressure even dropped to zero in his eye. Sometime after he had the bleb surgery, he was going in for a checkup. We pulled in the parking structure, the building was right in front of us (I mean right in front of us) and he was telling me how bad his vision was out of that eye he had the bleb surgery.

I said, “well how bad could it be? I mean, you can see the building, you know, the building right in front of us?”

He covered his eyes and he said, “I see something grey.” He couldn’t even make out the windows in the building. I mean that scared me immensely.

The bleb surgery – he had a problem where they had to take some kind of — they called it a procedure, where they–  it was some kind of serum or something and they had to inject in his eye to try to build up the pressure again in his eye (when it’s zero its really bad). And that he went through that with this serum a few times. Then they went and they took his own blood and they injected blood into his eye again trying to improve things. And his surgery was considered a success and he went through all of that.

But then we had to go see other experts when he had these outcome, where the pressure was so low. He had to go to a retina specialist.

And also when I had the bleb surgery, I went to (supposedly) one of the best specialists in glaucoma surgery that was in California. He’s one of the highest rated so it’s not just the doctors but the procedure itself. The bleb surgery, is not a perfect surgery. It’s not precise. They have to keep playing with it – hopefully they will get it right before they do more damage to your eye.

Yeah. That’s the taking the sutures out. You don’t know how much pressure is gonna be introduced by taking a suture out. It’s not like you, “Oh, I take this out it’s going to be raising at one point or two points.” You don’t know until after you’ve taken that suture out.

He ended up having to get the shots literally. I’m talking about shots in the eye because I sat there in the room when they did it and it was…they considered that surgical procedure. Under our insurance it was like close to $1,000 for each shot that he had. The serum stuff that they injected in the eye. And he had that, what I said, numerous times.

I sat there holding my breath because I was afraid to make any type of noise because his doctor was coming in literally with a needle. And he’s a lot braver than me because I could not have gone through that.

Dr Richardson told me about canaloplasty and its the greatest thing around. And he is just a great doctor.

Very thorough and very patient.

Everything – he keeps records on everything and he’s an excellent doctor.

He keeps up on the state of the art improvements in treatments for people with glaucoma and I think that’s why he was, you know, out there in the forefront, very knowledgeable about canaloplasty.

Its hard to even compare the two because canaloplasty is just incredible. In comparison with canaloplasty? There is no comparison. The Canaloplasty was so much more superior both in the procedure – if you want to call it trauma to the eye because he doesn’t have that little thing up above (the bleb), and in the healing. In the eye pressure…

Easy and its fast and the outcome is good.

And no drops!

And no drops. Yeah.

A piece of cake! Canaloplasty was a piece of cake and that was incredible. He felt good going home…

No side effects whatsoever

And then great vision and no drops.

Just at the end, right after (surgery) to keep my eye from infection. But after a week, no drops since 2011. I haven’t had any drugs, any drops on my eyes so that’s an excellent.

Really, the only eye he’s having problems with is the one that had the bleb surgery (trabeculectomy) and that’s the one we are concerned about and we have to keep watching.


(This will take you to Dr. David Richardson's website)
David Richardson, MD

David Richardson, MD

Medical Director, San Marino Eye

David Richardson, M.D. is recognized as one of the top cataract and glaucoma surgeons in the US and is among an elite group of glaucoma surgeons in the country performing the highly specialized canaloplasty procedure. Morever, Dr. Richardson is one of only a few surgeons in the greater Los Angeles area that performs MicroPulse P3™ "Cyclophotocoagulation" (MP3) glaucoma laser surgery. Dr. Richardson graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern California and earned his Medical Degree from Harvard Medical School. He completed his ophthalmology residency at the LAC+USC Medical Center/ Doheny Eye Institute. Dr. Richardson is also an Ambassador of Glaucoma Research Foundation.

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