Trabeculectomy is a surgical operation which actually lowers the intraocular pressure inside the eye in patients with the disease glaucoma. This is achieved by making a tiny hole in eyewall sclera covered by a thin trap door in the sclera. The liquid inside the eye the drains through the trap door to the small reservoir just under the eye surface, hidden by the eyelid. The trap-door is stitched in such a way that it prevents aqueous humor from draining quickly. By the is procedure the pressure which has increased on the optic nerve is reduced and thus preventing further eye damage by glaucoma.

After the surgery

The person is admitted to the hospital. After the surgery antibiotic is applied to the eye. Also, the eyelid is closed by a shield which is the hard shield is placed over the eye. For up to some month the person is supposed to wear the shield. Corticosteroid medicine is usually applied to the eye for about 1 to 2 months after the surgery to decrease the inflammation in the eye. People generally have to avoid the bending, lifting heavy objects, or straining for several weeks after the surgery. Straining can raise eye pressure inside the eye, which may increase the risk of bleeding or damaging the optic nerve.

The new opening which is created by the surgery trabeculectomy allows the fluid to gather under the eyeball, where it is absorbed into the bloodstream.

The surgery lowers the pressure inside the eye, but some people may need another trabeculectomy surgery for treatment of glaucoma.  The surgery is less likely to be successful in:

  • Children having congenital glaucoma
  • people who have difficulty to control glaucoma in which new blood vessels grow in the iris
  • People who have diabetes
  • People who have previous eye surgery

Other complication of this surgery that may develop after the surgery includes:

  • Blurred vision
  • Bleeding in the eye
  • Sudden or permanent loss of central vision. This risk also depends on the condition of the vision before the eye surgery
  • infection in the eye
  • High pressure in eye causing the space in the front part of the eye to collapse which is rare
  • cataract
  • Continued changes in the nerve at the back of the eye related to glaucoma
  • infection
  • Droopy eyelid

The trabeculectomy is a common type of surgery which does not have the use of a laser.