Complications of Baerveldt glaucoma drainage implants

Arch Ophthalmol. 1998 May;116(5):571-5. doi: 10.1001/archopht.116.5.571.


Objectives: To report the incidence and identify risk factors of postoperative complications after Baerveldt glaucoma drainage implantation.

Methods: A retrospective review of the medical records of all patients at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miami, Fla, who underwent placement of a Baerveldt glaucoma drainage implant from October 1, 1992, through October 31, 1996, to determine demographic characteristics, preoperative and postoperative intraocular pressures, and complications. Variables were analyzed using the Student t test and Fisher exact test to determine the association between delayed postoperative suprachoroidal hemorrhage and various potential risk factors.

Results: A total of 107 eyes of 103 patients were identified. Suprachoroidal hemorrhage occurred in 4 eyes (4%), with onset ranging from 3 to 33 days after implantation. Two eyes (2%) had choroidal effusions requiring surgical drainage, and 20 eyes (19%) had low choroidal effusions requiring only close observation. Tube blockage was observed in 5 eyes (5%). Four eyes (4%) had aqueous misdirection, 2 eyes (2%) had corneal decompensation, and 1 eye (1%) each had endophthalmitis, tube migration, corneal ulcer, hyphema, and implant migration. Patients who were older (P=.04) or had postoperative choroidal effusions (P=.03), low intraocular pressure immediately after the tube opened (P=.03), hypertension (P= .08), or atherosclerosis (P=.09) were more likely to develop suprachoroidal hemorrhage.

Conclusions: A lower incidence of serious postoperative complications was observed in Baerveldt implantations in this study when compared with a recent report. Risk factors for serious complications were similar to trabeculectomy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Choroid Hemorrhage / epidemiology
  • Choroid Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Drainage / adverse effects*
  • Drainage / instrumentation
  • Glaucoma / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Keratoplasty, Penetrating
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications* / epidemiology
  • Prostheses and Implants / adverse effects*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Vitrectomy