Mercy Eye Center
Glaucoma Corrective Surgery
If medication is not controlling the intraocular pressure for glaucoma
patients an ophthalmologist may recommend corrective surgery. There are numerous types of corrective surgery for glaucoma.
Laser surgery for glaucoma involves the surgeon’s use of a high-powered laser machine. . Your surgeon will hold a special lens up to the eye and aim the laser beam through the lens to open the drainage canal within your eye at specific points to allow the fluid to drain better. During the procedure you may see flashes of colored light. If you need the procedure in both eyes you will have separately-scheduled surgeries. You will likely need to continue using your glaucoma eyedrops after having laser surgery. There are three main types of corrective laser surgery for glaucoma:
- Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) is a laser surgery procedure for patients with primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) that leaves certain portions of your eye’s drainage canal intact while still allowing for greater fluid drainage to relieve pressure within the eye.
- Laser Peripheral Iridotomy (LPI) is a laser surgery procedure for patients with narrow-angle glaucoma. During this process your surgeon will make an opening behind your eye’s iris so that fluid can find a new route to drain from the eye and lower your internal ocular pressure.
- Cycloablation is a laser procedure that destroys part of the eye’s cillary body which produces aqueous humor in order to reduce the pressure within the eye. There are two types – transscleral cyclophotocoagulation and endoscopic cyclophotocoagulation (ECP). Both procedures are generally only employed if other treatments have failed or if the shape or features of the eye make other procedures not possible.
If medication and laser surgery have not been successful in treating your glaucoma, conventional surgery (called “trabeculectomy” or filtering microsurgery)
may be prescribed. Filtering microsurgery can be performed for both open-angle and closed-angle glaucomas. You will be given sedative medicine to relax and then your surgeon will make small injections around the eye to numb the area.
The surgeon will then make a miniscule hole in the sclera of your eye and remove a small piece of tissue to create a new channel through which your eye fluid can naturally drain in order to reduce eye pressure. Reduced pressure can help reduce damage to the optic nerve.
Post-surgical treatment will include antibiotic eye drops. If you need surgery on both eyes you will have separately-scheduled procedures. After any surgical procedure you will need to return to your ophthalmologist within a few days after the surgery for a follow-up appointment.