The surgery for children with glaucoma is rare, but it’s also expensive.
The average cost of a glaucolipoma surgery in Australia is $9,500, according to the Royal Australasian College of Ophthalmology.
That includes a two-week hospital stay, an eye exam and other procedures.
“If you have a child with glaus, they are usually given two different types of ophthalmic treatment,” said Dr Rebecca Dyson, a specialist in glaucoidosis at the University of Melbourne.
“Some are given topical ophthalmologists to control the inflammation in the eye, while others are given laser treatments that produce a glow in the eyes.”
Dr Dyson said patients would often start with an ophthalmoscopy to help them recognise the problem, and would then be referred for a full laser treatment at a local hospital.
“The laser therapy can have a very different outcome depending on the condition and the treatment the ophthalmal surgeon gives the patient,” she said.
“So it’s important to have an eye specialist to make sure that the treatment is the right one.”
Children with glares can have an immediate effect on their vision, causing it to be blurred, making it harder to see the world around them, and may also have a detrimental effect on the developing brain.
Dr Dinson said it’s extremely important to be aware of the potential for this type of condition to affect a child’s overall vision.
“You could be going to school, you could be doing homework, and suddenly your vision will be really blurry,” she told ABC News.
“I don’t think it’s fair to say that it’s a minor issue.”
She said there was currently no way to predict whether a child would have a serious side effect to their surgery.
“There is a good chance that a child could have some sort of adverse effect from the laser therapy,” she explained.
It’s a very complex condition and we don’t really know if it’s the right treatment or not.”