The most common surgery performed for later-stage glaucoma is called a trabeculectomy. During this procedure, the surgeon will introduce a very small drainage hole into the eye wall while leaving a section of sclera (the white of the eye) intact above the hole to serve as a protective trap door, or "flap." The built-up fluid within the eye can then flow out more easily, lowering intraocular pressure and reducing the glaucoma symptoms.
At Solomon Eye Physicians and Surgeons, our board-certified ophthalmologists are highly trained in the latest glaucoma diagnosis, management techniques, and MIGS (minimally invasive glaucoma surgery) procedures. However, a trabeculectomy is considered a major surgery and should always be performed by an experienced glaucoma specialist. If we determine during your glaucoma evaluation that trabeculectomy is your best option for treatment, we will refer you to a trusted glaucoma specialist.
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Best Candidates for Trabeculectomy
While trabeculectomies are the most commonly performed glaucoma surgery, they are generally reserved for patients who have gotten little to no relief of symptoms with medication, eye drops, and MIGS procedures. Most trabeculectomy patients have intermediate- to late-stage glaucoma or rapidly progressing glaucoma.
Candidates for a trabeculectomy will need to be in overall good health and should not be taking any anticoagulant medication.
What to Expect with Trabeculectomy
At Solomon Eye Physicians and Surgeons, we are very experienced and knowledgeable about helping our patients manage earlier-stage glaucoma and in performing MIGS. However, we do not typically perform trabeculectomies. A trabeculectomy should only be done by a doctor specializing in glaucoma. With that said, we are glad to provide you with a very general overview of the procedure.
A trabeculectomy will usually be done as an outpatient procedure under local anesthetic. When your eyes have become fully numb, the surgeon typically places a device over one eye at a time that will keep the eye still. You won't be able to see the device, and once it is in place, the pressure it creates will block your vision temporarily, similar to when you rub your eye with a certain amount of pressure. The surgeon then uses very small, fine, surgical-grade tools to create the flap and the tiny drainage hole. Once the surgery is complete, the surgeon will give you an antibiotic eye injection or eye drops. Your eye will be taped or bandaged closed, and you may be asked to wear an eye patch for a specified amount of time.
Plan Your Procedure
A Clear Solution
Trabeculectomies have long been considered the very best treatment for later-stage glaucoma. If your current glaucoma management methods are not giving you the relief you need, or if your glaucoma has progressed beyond the relief laser treatments or MIGS can provide, contact us at Solomon Eye Physicians and Surgeons to schedule a thorough evaluation. If you need a trabeculectomy, we will refer you to a glaucoma specialist we trust.