A 59-year-old man with mild to moderate pigmentary glaucoma was referred for management of hypotony-related maculopathy 3 years after combined phacoemulsification and trabeculectomy in his right eye. His ocular history is significant for retinal detachment in the right eye that was surgically treated with a pars plana vitrectomy and scleral buckle 5 years prior to the current presentation and 1 year prior to his combined phacoemulsification–trabeculectomy procedure. After trabeculectomy, he reportedly had a wound leak with hypotony and choroidal effusion. The patient was referred to a second surgeon who performed a bleb revision with a pericardial patch graft, but the patient had a severe intraocular pressure (IOP) spike in the immediate postoperative period requiring suture removal. This resulted in recurrent hypotony with maculopathy. A second bleb revision with pericardial patch graft was performed but was not successful in raising the IOP out of the single digits or in resolving the maculopathy. Accordingly, the patient was referred for further assessment.
At presentation, the patient's corrected distance visual acuity was 20/100 in the right eye and 20/20 in the left eye. Applanation tonometry IOP was 4 mm Hg and 16 mm Hg for the right and left eyes, respectively. Central corneal thickness was 609 μm in the right eye and 574 μm in the left eye. The right pupil was noted to be slightly irregular with a relative afferent pupillary defect. Slitlamp examination of the right eye was notable for a moderately elevated, Seidel test-negative bleb, and deep anterior chamber. The left eye had a Krukenberg spindle and mild nuclear sclerotic cataract but was otherwise unremarkable. Fundus examination of the right eye was notable for significant macular folds with edematous nerve fiber layer (NFL) and optic nerve. The left optic nerve and fundus examination were unremarkable. Gonioscopy revealed open angles with dense trabecular meshwork pigment in both eyes. There was a nicely patent superior sclerostomy in the right eye. There was no cyclodialysis cleft.
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) of the macula showed chorioretinal folds and NFL edema in the right eye and was normal in the left eye (Figure 1). The OCT of the optic nerve in the right eye was distorted secondary to the chorioretinal folds, whereas the left eye was notable for mild superior thinning of the NFL (Figure 2). Humphrey visual field revealed a superior nasal step in the right eye (Figure 3). Axial lengths were 25.33 mm and 26.53 mm in the right and left eye, respectively; it is notable that the right eye had a shorter axial length despite the scleral buckle, which demonstrates the degree of axial shortening from hypotony (Figure 4).
What would be your approach for managing this patient's hypotony? Does the fact that the referring surgeon had performed 2 failed bleb revision procedures prior to referral influence your approach? Given that a previous attempt at revision resulted in an extreme IOP spike would you also recommend a glaucoma procedure? If so, what procedure would you perform? Would you do it coincident with the revision or in a staged procedure later on an as-needed basis?