Scheduled Postoperative Ripcord Removal in Baerveldt 350 Implants: A Prospective, Randomized Trial.
PURPOSE: Many surgeons remove the ripcord in the Baerveldt glaucoma drainage device to better control tube opening and intraocular pressure (IOP) lowering postoperatively. However, complications following Baerveldt implant surgery with or without ripcord removal are not well-characterized. We performed a prospective, randomized trial to test the hypothesis that scheduled ripcord removal decreases complications and final IOP. METHODS: Eighty-one patients were enrolled and randomized to scheduled ripcord removal at postoperative week 3 or to observation. They were followed for 6 months, and outcomes were compared between the 2 groups. RESULTS: Forty-four patients were randomized to scheduled ripcord removal and 37 to observation. The intervention group had a similar rate of total complications after ripcord removal (36% vs. 24%, P=0.24), a lower rate of tube fibrin obstruction (2.3% vs. 13.5%, P=0.05), and a larger decrease in the number of medications (1.3 vs. 0.49 fewer medications, P=0.01). The removal group's mean IOP decrease was 8.6 mm Hg and success rate was 59%, defined as 5 mm Hg
An, SJ; Wen, JC; Quist, MS; Mathenge, EW; Vin, A; Herndon, LW
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