Trabeculectomy is a glaucoma surgery that is performed to help reduce eye pressure for better vision. When medications and lasers do not work, trabeculectomy is usually recommended as the next step.
This procedure is intended to reduce the fluid within the eye in order to minimize the risk of pressure damage to the optic nerve, which transmits vision from the eye to the brain. Although trabeculectomy cannot cure glaucoma permanently or reverse vision loss that has already happened, it can effectively regulate pressure and reduce the risk of subsequent vision loss in the majority of patients for several years.
Who Is It For and How Does It Work?
Glaucoma is an eye disease where excessive eye pressure damages the optic nerve, resulting in vision loss. Patients who do not receive treatment gradually lose their peripheral vision and, in some cases, their central vision. Glaucoma, if left untreated, can result in total blindness.
Trabeculectomy is usually recommended to patients with a severe form of glaucoma where their intraocular pressures put them at significant risk for progressive glaucoma damage resulting in visual disability. In other words, this surgery is considered in situations where surgical risks are outweighed by its potential benefits.
This treatment creates a new pathway for the fluid produced by the eye to leave the eye more freely and be reabsorbed by the tissues surrounding the eye. With this, eye pressure can be lowered for many years, but it is important to keep follow-up appointments with your eye doctor, so they can effectively monitor the pressure and watch for complications.
Follow-up checkups after surgery
The patient is required to come in for a follow up on the first postoperative day. The rest of the follow-up intervals vary depending on the patient’s clinical state and intraocular pressure. Topical anti-inflammatory and antibiotic eye drops are prescribed, and they must be taken as directed by the doctor.
During the post-surgical phase, the patient should avoid putting any pressure on the operating eye or engaging in intense physical activity. To minimize unintentional rubbing of the eye while sleeping, the patient will be instructed to wear an eye shield at night.