July 8, 2013
Contact: Mary Ann Conover

New Eye Surgery Keeps Dentist's Glaucoma at Bay
Eye Center of La Jolla, Dr. Shervin Alborzian successfully performs non-invasive Canaloplasty.

La Jolla − Kenneth Pat Brown, DDS, wasn’t expecting the diagnosis of glaucoma in 2010. This vision-stealer showed up silently over three years ago as Dr. Brown noticed blurriness in his left eye. After two years of managing the disease with eye drops, his eye specialist recommended the traditional glaucoma surgery called trabeculectomy, to relieve the pressure on his optic nerve. Concerned about the risks of this older procedure, which has a lifetime risk of eye infection after the surgery, he began searching for something better: that’s when he learned about canaoloplasty, a non-invasive surgical intervention.

With little time to spare, opthlalmic surgeon, Shervin Alborzian, MD, performed the canaloplasty on Dr. Brown on the same day he had been scheduled for a trabeculectomy. This switch in procedures also changed the recovery from long and worrisome, to brief and virtually painless. The Temecula dentist returned to his practice within four days. Still, he continues to see Dr. Alborzian to check his eye pressure, which has remained at a safe level one year after the procedure.

I'm not afraid of surgery, I believe in it. But when I discovered I’d always have to worry about infection with the older surgery, I was disheartened,” says Dr. Brown. “ To cut a hole in my eye and hope it stayed open seemed so archaic. I had no doubt canaloplasty was clinically proven to be safe and effective, once I conducted my own research.”

Dr. Alborzian confirms, “Canaloplasty gives patients a safer alternative with less risk and shorter recovery time. The procedure takes about 40-90 minutes in an outpatient surgery setting, with most patients going home the same day. The safety of this surgery allows me to offer a surgical solution earlier in the treatment of glaucoma and to those who cannot tolerate their eye drops because of their various side effects.”

As for Dr. Brown, he is celebrating his 25th year as a dentist, a gift almost taken by glaucoma.

About Canaloplasty

This non-invasive eye procedure is an advanced, non-penetrating technique to enhance and restore the eye’s natural drainage system to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP). Canaloplasty uses a microcatheter to circumnavigate the canal around a patient’s iris. This enlarges the main drainage channel and its smaller collector channels through the injection of a sterile, gel-like material called viscoelastic. The catheter is then removed and a suture is placed within the canal and tightened. This tightened suture ensures that the canal remains open. By opening the canal, the pressure inside the patient’s eye is relieved.


Glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness. There are about 2.2 million persons in the United States with glaucoma and only half know about it, says the Glaucoma Research Organization.

Glaucoma is a group of eye disorders leading to progressive damage to the optic nerve, and is characterized by loss of nerve tissue resulting in loss of vision. The optic nerve is a bundle of about one million individual nerve fibers and transmits the visual signals from the eye to the brain. The most common form of glaucoma, primary open-angle glaucoma, is associated with an increase in the fluid pressure inside the eye. This increase in pressure may cause progressive damage to the optic nerve and loss of nerve fibers. Vision loss may result. Advanced glaucoma may even cause blindness. Not everyone with high eye pressure will develop glaucoma, and many people with normal eye pressure will develop glaucoma. When the pressure inside an eye is too high for that particular optic nerve, whatever that pressure measurement may be, glaucoma will develop.

About the Eye Center of La Jolla

Shervin Alborzian, MD is the medical director of the Eye Center of La Jolla. Also on staff with Scripps Health, he specializes in comprehensive ophthalmology and serves as a topical anesthesia cataract surgeon. In addition to providing canaloplasty for the treatment of glaucoma, Dr. Alborzian is board certified to treat various illnesses of the eyes including diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration. He is also a laser specialist and uses various ophthalmic lasers, including LASIK. His office is located at 9834 Genesee Ave, Suite 209, La Jolla. http://eyecenteroflajolla.com