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Glaucoma Surgery

For people diagnosed with glaucoma, there are several treatment options available, including surgery. Surgery is used to make a new opening for the fluid to leave the eye. Traditional surgery for glaucoma is usually performed only if other glaucoma treatments, such as medicines and laser surgery, fail to control eye pressure.

An Introduction to Surgery for Glaucoma

There are several treatment options available for people with glaucoma. One form of treatment is traditional surgery. This surgery is used to make a new opening for the fluid to leave the eye. Your doctor may suggest this glaucoma treatment at any time. Traditional glaucoma surgery is often done after medicines and glaucoma laser surgery have failed to control pressure.

Process of Glaucoma Surgery

The procedure for this type of surgery consists of three sections:
  • Before Surgery. Traditional surgery for glaucoma is performed in an eye clinic or hospital. Before the surgery, you will be given medicine to help you relax. Your doctor will make small injections around the eye to numb it.
  • During Surgery. During surgery, a small piece of tissue is removed to create a new channel for the fluid to drain from the eye.
  • After Surgery. For several weeks after the surgery, you must put drops in the eye to fight infection and inflammation. These drops will be different from those you may have been using before the surgery.
As with glaucoma laser surgery, traditional surgery for glaucoma is performed on one eye at a time. Usually the operations are four to six weeks apart.

Expected Results

Traditional glaucoma surgery is about 60 to 80 percent effective at lowering eye pressure. If the new drainage opening narrows, a second operation may be needed. Traditional surgery works best if you have not had previous eye surgery, such as a cataract operation.
In some instances, your vision may not be as good as it was before the surgery.

Treatments for Glaucoma

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