Trabeculectomy Surgery

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About Trabeculectomy

Further loss of sight in people with glaucoma can be prevented by various treatments that attempt to lower the pressure within the eye (the Intra-ocular Pressure – IOP).

If your eye surgeon has recommended Trabeculectomy it is usually because either eye drops are not a suitable treatment for you or they have not lowered your IOP enough to prevent further damage to your sight. The operation will help you to keep the sight that you still have, but will not improve your sight or restore any sight that you may have already lost.

Trabeculectomy is an operation where the eye surgeon creates a tiny new opening through the white of your eye (sclera) in an area hidden under the eyelid.

This allows the excess fluid inside the eye to drain, thus reducing the pressure inside your eye. The fluid forms a so-called “bleb” which is a small permanent blister-like swelling on the surface of the eye, typically hidden under the eyelid so as it is not usually visible to you. The fluid in the “bleb” is absorbed back into the blood stream, and does not leak onto the surface of the eye.
After Trabeculectomy, most people will achieve a low IOP for years: almost 90% were still successful after 20 years in one study. Often a satisfactory pressure is achieved without having to use additional glaucoma medication.
After surgery, common short term effects are a red inflamed eye, slight temporary blurred sight affecting one in four cases, temporary discomfort, and drooping of upper eyelid. About one in five cases develop a cataract (clouding of the natural lens) over time, but this can be removed if it occurs.

Most Trabeculectomy patients need a small change in their glasses prescription but this should be done not earlier than at least 3 months after surgery and only once the IOP has stabilised. It is advisable to check with your ophthalmologist before changing glasses or if you find that you need to acquire glasses for the first time following the surgery.

More rarely but seriously, post-operative eye infection can occur in not more than 3 in 100 cases. Also, infection or bleeding could cause severe vision loss in about 4 out of 1000 cases.

On rare occasions, further surgical intervention may be recommended if the eye pressure drops very low or very quickly very soon after surgery. This is because very low eye pressure very soon after surgery may cause bleeding at the back of the eye.

Should you develop a throbbing or dull aching sensation in the operated eye, or severe blurring or distortion of vision, urgent further assessment at the eye casualty department is important. About 1 in 20 trabeculectomy cases require further surgical intervention in the first month after surgery, either because the IOP is too low or too high.
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Our Consultant ophthalmic surgeons specialise in glaucoma treatment, cataract surgery, and eyelid problems. Assessment of your eye condition will include a thorough examination and any necessary special tests, many of which can be performed conveniently in-house.

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Our Consultant surgeons are among the highest-level ophthalmic surgeons available in the UK. Trained at Moorfields & centres of excellence both within the UK and internationally, our ophthalmic consultant team offers a combination of experts, focussed on the best quality eye care, not found in any other clinic.

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Your eyesight matters & often cutting cost means reducing quality. Personalised treatment plans, state-of-the-art technology, highly-qualified ophthalmic surgeons and carefully tailored aftercare is an investment worth making.

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