Trabeculectomy, also known as glaucoma filter surgery, is a surgical procedure that removes part of the trabecular meshwork of the eye in order to increase the drainage of fluid. A trabeculectomy is one of the most common surgical procedures used to treat open-angle and chronic closed-angle glaucoma. A new drainage passage is created during the procedure by cutting a small hole in the sclera (the white part of the eye) and creating a collection pouch between the sclera and conjunctiva (the outer covering of the eye). This serves to create a system for bypassing the blocked drainage channels and encourages fluid drainage and reduces eye pressure.

The Trabeculectomy Procedure

Glaucoma filter surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure and does not require a hospital stay. Most patients experience only mild pain post-surgically. The treated eye must remain covered at night for several weeks after the procedure. In addition, patients will need to regularly apply corticosteroid eye drops to the eye to reduce swelling. Activity will be somewhat limited for the first few weeks after glaucoma filter surgery, and specific restrictions will be discussed with the patient.

Complications Of Glaucoma Filter Surgery

Every surgery has some form of risk or complication. While rare, complications may include:

  • Eye pressure that is lower than normal
  • Formation of a cataract
  • Hemorrhage
  • Scarring
  • Infection
  • Inflammation