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August 1994

Opening an Occluded Molteno Tube With the Picosecond Neodymium-Yttrium Lithium Fluoride Laser

Author Affiliations

Houston, Tex

Arch Ophthalmol. 1994;112(8):1023. doi:10.1001/archopht.1994.01090200025010

The Molteno tube shunt is the most widely used aqueous drainage device. Obstruction of the tube in the anterior chamber by fibrin, iris tissue, vitreous, or blood is a common reason for failure, with reported incidences up to 14.6%.1 Use of the neodymium (Nd)-YAG laser to open occluded tubes can be attempted before surgery is performed to restore patency in these complicated cases.2

The picosecond Nd—yttrium lithium fluoride (Nd-YLF) laser (1053 nm) (Intelligent Surgical Lasers Inc, San Diego, Calif), which uses low-energy-per-pulse levels with high repetition rates, can create optical break-down of target tissues with minimal thermal damage to adjacent structures. We report herein a case in which the picosecond Nd-YLF laser was used safely and controllably to open an occluded Molteno tube and restore aqueous drainage.

Report of a Case.  A 32-year-old man with bilateral advanced developmental glaucoma and subluxed lenses underwent uneventful doubleplate Molteno implant surgery