Sydney CBD


Glaucoma Surgery (Trabeculectomy)

Glaucoma is an eye condition where the nerve at the back of the eye (the optic nerve) is damaged. There are various types of glaucoma. It is important to detect and treat early as it can lead to loss of vision. In many cases, the damage to the optic nerve is due to an increased pressure within the eye. 

Why do I need an operation for this ?

Glaucoma can slowly damage the eyesight. We cannot recover the sight once you lose part of your eyesight due to glaucoma. In this condition, there is often a problem with the pressure in the eye (intraocular pressure). The higher the pressure, the greater the chance of losing vision. In some patients, glaucoma may still progress despite a seemingly normal pressure. The key aim of surgery is to lower the pressure to prevent any further glaucoma damage.

In the eye clinic we will monitor your eye pressure, field of vision and 3D scan of your nerve. If eye drops fail to keep the pressure low enough, our doctor may recommend surgery for you. The operation does not recover any lost vision, its goal is to prevent further loss of vision from glaucoma by reducing the eye pressure.

What are the benefits of surgical correction?

The operation has a good success rate approximately 9 out of 10 patients will see a pressure reduction after the surgery. When the pressure is surgically lowered, you may be able to stop the eyedrops used to treat glaucoma.

What are the risks or side effects of the operation?

Any operation can potentially have complications. After glaucoma surgery it is uncommon to have a bad outcome. You can expect the eye to be sore and blurred for a few days to weeks with gritty sensation.

Infection or severe bleeding is uncommon, however if your eye becomes red and painful with reduction in vision please contact us as soon as possible.

If the eye pressure reduction is sub-optimal you may need to go back onto eye drops, have laser treatment or have a second operation.

A proportion of patient may go onto to develop cataracts in the operated eye. We will monitor this and will address this for you if it affects your vision.

Are there any alternative treatments?

Some alternatives to surgery include using eyedrops or laser treatment. These are often tried first before reaching the surgical stage. However in some cases surgery may have to be done sooner rather than trying eyedrops or laser (for instance, where advanced disease is detected in a young patient). If the operation is not done, and other treatment methods have already been tried, there is a risk of slowly losing vision because of your glaucoma

Further questions?

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