Choroidal Effusions after Glaucoma Drainage Implant Surgery: Risk Factors and Surgical Management

Stephanie Ying, Sara J. Coulon, Alcina K. Lidder, Mary Labowsky, Christopher P. Cheng, Kateki Vinod, Paul A. Sidoti, Joseph F. Panarelli

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Objective: To report the incidence of patients who developed choroidal effusions after glaucoma drainage implant (GDI) surgery and determine risk factors for and outcomes of surgical intervention. Design: Retrospective case series. Subjects: Medical records of 605 patients who underwent GDI surgery from January 1, 2017 to June 7, 2021 at New York University Langone Health and New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai were reviewed. Methods: Preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative clinical data were obtained. Multivariate logistic regression evaluated the factors associated with the need for surgical intervention. Patient records were analyzed for effusion resolution, intraocular pressure (IOP), visual acuity (VA), and complications across treatment modalities. Main Outcome Measures: Incidence of choroidal effusion development and need for surgical intervention. Results: Choroidal effusions developed in 110 (18%) patients (110 eyes). Surgical intervention to drain the effusion or ligate the implant tube was performed in 19 (17%) patients. The average time to surgical intervention was 47.6 days. Among patients who developed postoperative effusions, risk factors for requiring surgical intervention included history of selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) (P = 0.004; odds ratio [OR], 14.4), prior GDI surgery (P = 0.04; OR 8.7), 350-mm2 Baerveldt glaucoma implant placement (P = 0.05; OR, 4.8), and anterior chamber shallowing (AC; P < 0.001; OR, 25.1) in the presence of effusions. The subgroup that required multiple surgeries for effusion resolution had a significantly lower mean IOP at the most recent follow-up compared with those who received medical management only (P < 0.001). A higher percentage of patients who required surgical intervention lost VA at the most recent follow-up compared with patients whose effusions resolved with conservative management (i.e., medical management, AC viscoelastic injection). Conclusions: Choroidal effusions after GDI surgery resolved with conservative management in most patients. A history of SLT or GDI placement, implantation of a BGI-350, and the presence of a shallow chamber were risk factors for surgical intervention. Although interventions, such as surgical drainage are at times necessary, a better understanding of their impacts can help guide postoperative decisions. The risks and benefits of these procedures must be carefully considered in these high-risk eyes. Financial Disclosure(s): Proprietary or commercial disclosure may be found in the Footnotes and Disclosures at the end of this article.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)530-540
Number of pages11
JournalOphthalmology Glaucoma
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2023


  • Choroidal effusion
  • Glaucoma drainage implant
  • Surgical drainage


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