A glaucoma valve is a medical shunt used in the treatment of glaucoma to reduce the eye's intraocular pressure. The device works by bypassing the trabecular meshwork and redirecting the outflow of aqueous humour through a small tube into an outlet chamber or bleb. The IOP generally decreases from around 33 to 10 mmHg by removing aqueous on average 2.75 microliters/min.
The first glaucoma drainage implant was developed in 1966. Following on the success of the Molteno implant, several varieties of device have been developed from the original, the Baerveldt tube shunt, or the valved implants, such as the Ahmed glaucoma valve implant and the later generation pressure ridge Molteno implants. These are indicated for glaucoma patients not responding to maximal medical therapy, with previous failed guarded filtering surgery (trabeculectomy). The flow tube is inserted into the anterior chamber of the eye and the plate is implanted underneath the conjunctiva to allow flow of aqueous fluid out of the eye into a chamber called a bleb.