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Drs. Fine, Hoffman & Sims Opthalmologists in Eugene Oregon

Trabeculectomy (Filtration Surgery) for Glaucoma

What is Trabeculectomy?
During trabeculectomy-sometimes also called filtration surgery-a piece of tissue in the drainage angle of the eye is removed, creating an opening. The opening is partially covered with a flap of tissue from the sclera, the white part of the eye, and the conjunctiva, the clear thin covering over the sclera. This new opening allows fluid (aqueous humor) to drain out of the eye, bypassing the clogged drainage channels of the trabecular meshwork.

Ahmed Glaucoma Valve
Ahmed Glaucoma Valve

As the fluid flows through the new drainage opening, the tissue over the opening rises to form a little blister or bubble, called a bleb. The bleb is located where the sclera, or white of the eye, joins the iris, the colored part of the eye. During office visits after surgery, the doctor looks at the bleb to make sure that fluid is still draining out of the new opening. Not all blebs have to be easily seen to work.

Glaucoma Valves
Mechanism: The device works by bypassing the trabecular meshwork and redirecting the outflow of aqueous humor through a small tube into an outlet chamber or bleb. The IOP generally decreases from around 33 to 10 mmHg by removing aqueous on average 2.75 microliters/min.

How does a glaucoma valve work?
Implant surgery immediately reduces the pressure in the eye by giving the fluid a means to drain out more effectively. Because the glaucoma implant is a valve, it adjusts itself according to the fluid pressure in the eye. There is a precise control on the amount of fluid that is allowed to flow through it. This ensures that there is no excessive drainage from the eye, which can be a serious problem.

Implant surgery is done on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia. the total procedure takes about one hour. Postoperatively, you will need to take some medications until your eye is completely healed, including any pain medication for any discomfort you feel. Regular follow-up exams will track the pressure changes in your eye and ensure that the glaucoma implant is working successfully.

Contact us about Trabeculectomy for Glaucoma by calling 541-687-2110 or using our Contact Form.

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Commonly Asked Questions:
How do I find out if I have Glaucoma?

Early detection is crucial. Your doctor will perform a painless test to measure the fluid pressure and evaluate the retina and optic nerve. If the pressure is unusually high or if the optic nerve proves abnormal upon examination, your doctor will suggest you undergo a "visual fields" test to determine if any peripheral or side vision has been lost. Read more about the visual test here.

What are the risk factors for glaucoma?
- adults past the age of 35 should visit an eye doctor every year.
Medical Disorders - such as Diabetes, extreme nearsightedness, and previous eye surgery
Ethnic Background - glaucoma is four times more common in African-Americans than in whites and among whites, groups at higher risk include people with Scandinavian, Irish and Russian backgrounds.
Family History - Like so many diseases, glaucoma tends to run in families.