Trabeculectomy (say "truh-BEK-you-LEK-tuh-mee") is surgery to treat glaucoma. Glaucoma is an eye
disease. It occurs when the nerve that connects the eye to the brain gets
damaged. This damage is often caused by extra pressure in the eye. Over
time, this pressure can lead to vision problems.
This type of surgery is one way to
lower the pressure in the eye. It is sometimes called glaucoma filtration procedure.
First, the doctor puts numbing medicine in your eye. Then the doctor uses special tools and a
microscope to make a cut in the white part of your eye. This cut is called an incision. Next, the doctor removes a tiny piece of your eye and makes an opening
for fluid to drain out of your eye. Then he or she closes the incision with
After surgery, tissue rises over the new opening to make a little blister or bubble on the surface of your eye. This is called a bleb. Extra fluid from your eye will go from the opening into the bleb. Then it gets absorbed by the thin cover on the
outside of your eye. You will
not feel the fluid. And in most cases, the upper eyelid covers the bleb and it can't be seen.
You may get medicine to make you sleep during
the surgery. Or you may be awake, but you will get medicine for
pain. The surgery will take about 30 to 90 minutes. You can expect your eye to
feel better each day. But it may take 6 to 8 weeks to fully
This surgery may prevent your vision from getting worse. You may
also be able to take less glaucoma medicine than before. To make sure that the bleb works well, you may need to see your doctor many times after surgery.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all
appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good
idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you
Surgery can be
stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
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Current as of:
May 23, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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