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The Effect of Suture Wick Technique on Early Intraocular Pressure Control After Nonvalved (Baerveldt 350) Glaucoma Drainage Device Surgery

Rothman, Adam L., MD*; An, Selena J., MSPH; Herndon, Leon W. Jr, MD*

doi: 10.1097/IJG.0000000000001080
Original Studies

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare early postoperative outcomes of patients who underwent Baerveldt 350-mm2 aqueous drainage device (Abbott Medical Optics Inc., Santa Ana, CA) implantation with and without 7-0 polyglactin (vicryl) suture placement through tube fenestration to serve as a stenting wick.

Methods: Patients were identified by a retrospective review of the electronic medical records of one attending surgeon’s Baerveldt implantation (LWH) conducted by searching the Current Procedural Terminology code “placement of aqueous shunt.” All patients had tube ligature with 7-0 vicryl suture and 6-0 prolene placed as a ripcord with 4 fenestrations. Thirty-seven patients had no vicryl wick while 38 patients had a stenting wick. Data were collected from the preoperative visit, postoperative day 1, postoperative week 3, postoperative week 5, and postoperative month 2.

Results: Although intraocular pressure (IOP) and number of medications were reduced at every follow-up visit, there was no significant difference in IOP, percent reduction of IOP, number of medications, and visual acuity between patients with and without vicryl wick at each time point. Both groups also had comparable morbidity with no significant difference in ripcord removal, incidence of complications, or need for additional surgery.

Conclusions: Baerveldt implantation with vicryl wick placement can safely lower IOP and medication burden but does not seem to offer additional utility to fenestration without vicryl wick.

*Department of Ophthalmology, Duke University

Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC

Presented in part at the American Glaucoma Society Annual Meeting, March 3, 2018.

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Leon W. Herndon Jr, MD, Duke University Department of Ophthalmology, 2351 Erwin Rd, Box 3802, Durham, NC 27710 (e-mail:

Received May 23, 2018

Accepted August 25, 2018

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