Some observers concerned about the safety of ECP group its risk into the same category as transscleral cyclophotoablation. To address this incorrect assumption, an international ECP Study Group was formed to conduct a retrospective review of the safety of this procedure. In total, 5,824 patients were treated and followed for a mean of 5.2 years (range 1-10.5 years). Early complications included IOP spike (14.5%) and intraocular hemorrhage (3.8%). Long term complications included cystoid macular edema with visual loss in 0.27%, retinal detachment in 0.27% and massive choroidal hemorrhage in 0.09%. Hypotony or phthisis occurred in 0.12%, and only in patients with neovascular glaucoma. These complication rates are lower than other types of incisional glaucoma surgeries. Less than 1% of patients suffer vision loss following ECP, compared with 5-10% following trabeculectomy and 10% following tube (shunt) surgery. There is no increased risk of cystoid macular edema in ECP patients compared with control groups (i.e. phacoemulsification). Conversely, there is a 5-10% risk of CME in patients following trabeculectomy. And finally, there has not yet been a reported case of endophthalmitis following an ECP procedure. Comparatively, there is a 1% risk of endophthalmitis following tube (shunt) placement and a 1% risk PER YEAR of endophthalmitis following trabeculectomy surgery. Of the most devastating complications, including endophthalmitis, lens dislocation, choroidal hemorrhage, phthisis, and retinal detachment, the COMBINED risk is less than 1% for ECP. ECP has been performed globally for over 12 years, with more than 50,000 patients treated to date. An endoscope is used to view the interior of the eye utilizing a fiberoptic image and camera. Utilizing a probe less than 1mm in diameter, the endoscope allows easy entry through small incisions, such as those used during cataract surgery. This allows visualization and treatment of areas of the eye that were previously impossible to access. The laser microendoscope allows for simultaneous viewing and treatment through a single incision by integrating a unique fiber-optic bundle. Imaging and laser delivery are combined in a single instrument, as is the case with other types of endoscopic treatments.
The surgical endoscope used during ECP is less than 1mm in diameter, making it one of the world’s smallest surgical endoscopes.