Glaucoma filtration surgery is the most common surgery for open-angle glaucoma. It helps the eye drain liquid more effectively and lower intraocular pressure.
Glaucoma filtration surgery is also known as trabeculectomy. The eye surgeon makes a small flap in the white of the eye (the sclera). This is followed by the creation of a reservoir called a filtration bleb. The aqueous humor can drain into this reservoir and be absorbed into the blood vessels around the eye. After carefully constructing the filtration bleb, incision in the sclera is closed with tiny stitches. Drugs to reduce scarring are often applied during and after surgery.
As with all surgeries, there are risks associated with glaucoma filtration surgery. One of the most common complications is scarring. Pain is unusual after surgery, although your eye may feel tender and sensitive. Sudden, severe, or deep-seated pain, especially if it is associated with loss of vision, should be reported to ophthalmologist immediately.
Postoperative care is as important to the long-term success of the operation as the surgery itself. In follow-up appointments, the doctor examines the filtering bleb, the external appearance of the eye, your eye pressure, and the back of your eye.
Although the success rate is quite high, sometimes a single surgical procedure cannot halt the progression of glaucoma. Another surgery, filtration surgery with glaucoma drainage tube implant and/or continued treatment with medications may be necessary.
Other Surgical Interventions for Glaucoma Treatment
Non-penetrating glaucoma surgery reduces the incidence of postoperative overfiltration. Its main indication is primary open-angle glaucoma. The intraocular pressure reduction is less than that achieved by trabeculectomy.
iStent is a tiny hooked titanium tube showing promise for adequate IOP reduction in mild to moderate glaucoma. iStent implantation can be performed during cataract surgery and more than one iStent can be implanted.