Long Branch
279 Third Avenue
Suite 204
Long Branch, NJ, 07740
(732) 222-7373
Little Silver
180 White Road
Suite 202
Little Silver, NJ 07739
(732) 219-9220
Holmdel
100 Commons Way
Suite 230
Holmdel, NJ 07733
(732) 796-7140
Manasquan
2640 Rt. 70
Bldg. 7B, Suite 101
Manasquan, NJ 08736
(732)-223-6555

Glaucoma Surgery Options

You may need surgery to treat glaucoma if you can’t tolerate medications or if they’re ineffective. Sometimes a single surgical procedure may not effectively lower your eye pressure. You may need to continue using eyedrops, or you may need another procedure.

Possible complications from glaucoma surgery include infection, inflammation, bleeding, abnormally high or low eye pressure, and loss of vision. Having eye surgery also may speed up the development of cataracts. Most of these complications can be effectively treated.

Surgeries that may be performed to treat glaucoma include:

  • Filtering surgery. If eyedrops and laser surgery aren’t effective in controlling your eye pressure, you may need a surgical procedure called a trabeculectomy (truh-bek-u-LEK-tuh-me).

    This procedure is performed in a hospital or an outpatient surgery center. You’ll receive a medication to help you relax and usually an injection of anesthetic to numb your eye. Using small instruments under an operating microscope, your surgeon creates an opening in the sclera — the white of your eye — and removes a small piece of eye tissue at the base of your cornea through which fluid drains from your eye (the trabecular meshwork). The fluid in your eye can now freely leave the eye through this opening. As a result, your eye pressure will be lowered.

    Your surgery will be performed on one eye. If necessary, several weeks later you might have surgery on the other eye. You may need additional procedures or treatments, as the opening sometimes heals over or other changes occur in your optic nerve.

    Your doctor will check your eye during several follow-up visits, and you’ll need to use antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eyedrops to fight infection and scarring of the newly created drainage opening.

    Another procedure performed within the eye removes a targeted strip of the trabecular meshwork with a small tool. Your surgeon inserts the tool into the eye’s drainage canal through a small incision at the edge of the cornea and removes the small section of trabecular meshwork. This helps fluid drain more easily from your eye.

  • Drainage implants. Some people with advanced glaucoma, or secondary glaucoma may be eligible for drainage implants. Drainage implant surgery takes place in an outpatient clinic. In this procedure, your eye surgeon inserts a small tube in your eye to facilitate draining fluid (aqueous humor) from your eye to reduce the pressure.

In trabeculectomy and drainage implants, the fluid is directed to a blister (bleb) on the outer layer of your eyeball where it can be absorbed.

Copyright © 2009 Atlantic Eye Physicians