Glaucoma Surgeries

Unlike cataract surgeries, glaucoma surgeries do not restore or improve visual acuity but aim to stop the progression of the disease. Glaucoma surgery should be offered whenever the risk of visual loss is greater with medical management compared to the intrinsic risk of surgery.

1. Trabeculectomy with mitomycin C

Trabeculectomy consists in creating a trap door in the sclera (the white part of the eye) to allow fluid to leave the eye in a controlled manner. The fluid accumulates in a "bleb" in the superior part of the sclera and is hidden by the upper eyelid. This aqueous fluid does not drain out of the eye as tears would. Once it accumulates in the "bleb" under the conjunctiva (pink part of the eye), it is drained slowly through conjunctival vessels.

2. Glaucoma drainage device (Ahmed or Baerveldt tubes)

For some patients, an actual drainage device may be recommended. The drainage devices consist of a tube that enters the anterior chamber of the eye and a reservoir that is placed under the conjunctiva (pink part of the eye). The tubes are usually not visible to others as the reservoir is nicely covered under the upper eyelid. Over time, the fluid from the reservoir is drained through the conjunctival vessels and helps keep the eye pressures low.

3. Glaucoma Lasers

See the glaucoma laser section