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MIGS: The New Revolution in Glaucoma Surgery

12 Mar 2020

Glaucoma MIGS

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The Glaucoma Research Foundation describes Micro-Invasive Glaucoma Surgery as revolutionary

At nib, we believe that health insurance should be easy to understand, easy to claim on and most of all good value. We pride ourselves on offering our members better choices, which is why we’re providing cover for Micro-Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS) in Standard Hospital and Premium Hospital policies.

The Glaucoma Research Foundation writes that in the past 5-10 years MIGS has been a revolution in glaucoma surgery. “Glaucoma is a disease where the optic nerve gets damaged and the main risk factor is elevated eye pressure (also called intraocular pressure, IOP). The only treatment is to lower the IOP.” The Glaucoma Research Foundation goes on to say, “The traditional glaucoma surgeries (trabeculectomy and glaucoma drainage devices), while very effective, are associated with risks such as double vision, devastating eye infections, exposure of a drainage implant, swelling of the cornea, and excessively low IOP (intraocular pressure). Although these risks are relatively infrequent, they make most surgeons delay glaucoma surgery until all other less invasive treatment options are maximized (medications and laser treatment) and the patient has definitive glaucoma worsening. Fortunately, the MIGS revolution has allowed doctors to change their approach to surgical glaucoma for many patients. The main theme and priority of MIGS is patient safety. While no surgery is without risk, MIGS provide improved safety while usually providing mild-to-moderate IOP lowering.”

50,000 New Zealanders could unnecessarily experience loss of vision

In July 2019 it was reported by SCOOP Health that over 50,000 Kiwis (more than the population of Nelson), could experience unnecessary eyesight loss. “The group of Kiwis, all over 40, have glaucoma, and don’t know it, but the good news is there is revolutionary new technology out there to help them.

“We’re excited that for some glaucoma patients, these revolutionary MIGS stents can provide new treatment opportunities that were not previously possible. This can minimise the need for eye drops while still preserving vision,” says Professor Danesh-Meyer.

Annual eye examinations are recommended

Eye Health ChecksAccording to Glaucoma New Zealand, “To provide the best opportunity for early detection of glaucoma we urge everyone to prioritise annual eye examinations after the age of 45. Regular eye tests are not just about upgrading your glasses. Think of it as an eye health Warrant of Fitness that could literally save your sight.”

MIGS, Micro-Invasive Glaucoma Surgery, covered by nib

As part of our commitment, to equipping members to live better and healthier lives, nib health insurance covers Micro-Invasive Glaucoma Surgery under Standard and Premium Hospital policies. Click here to find out more about nib health insurance hospital policies.