To evaluate an alternate method of covering the subconjunctival portion of the tube in aqueous shunt surgery. Evidence of tube erosion, graft-related infection, graft melting, or other associated intraocular complications were evaluated.
A retrospective study of 16 patients (17 eyes) who underwent tube shunt surgery at Wills Eye Hospital between July 1991 and October 1996 was conducted. An autologous either “free” or “rotating” scierai lamellar graft was created to cover the subconjunctival portion of the tube shunt.
All patients were evaluated for at least 6 months, with a mean follow-up of 14.8 months (range 6–62 months). All eyes tolerated the autologous graft well, with no clinical evidence of tube erosion, or graft-related or intraocular complications.
Autologous patch graft in tube shunt surgery appears—in selected cases—to be an effective, safe and inexpensive surgical alternative to allogenic graft materials. It also offers ease of availability, and eliminates the risk of transmitting infectious disease.