What can I expect if I have open-angle glaucoma surgery?

Before Surgery
You will continue to use your glaucoma medications until just prior to surgery. If you take aspirin or any products containing aspirin, these should be discontinued at least seven to 10 days prior to surgery. If you take Coumadin, you will need to discontinue this medication three to five days prior to surgery.
The precise timing for stopping and resuming your medication is usually coordinated with your internist or cardiologist.
The Day of Surgery
A trabeculectomy is done as an outpatient surgery with a local anesthetic to prevent discomfort during the operation. You may be given a sedative to help you relax. General anesthesia is rarely necessary. The procedure is usually performed in less than an hour, but it may take longer if you have had previous eye surgery, if your eye is inflamed, or if abnormal blood vessels are present.
After Surgery
Postoperative care is as important to the long-term success of the operation as the surgery itself. In follow-up appointments, your ophthalmologist will examine the filtering bleb, the external appearance of the eye, your eye pressure and the back of your eye. You should avoid lifting, bending or straining after surgery until your eye pressure stabilizes.
Pain is unusual after surgery, although your eye may feel tender and sensitive. A non-aspirin pain reliever is usually sufficient to treat any discomfort. Sudden, severe or deep-seated pain, especially if it is associated with loss of vision, should be reported to your ophthalmologist immediately.
Eye pressure is adequately controlled in three out of four people. Although follow-up visits are still necessary after surgery, many people will no longer need to use eyedrops. However, if the new opening closes or too much fluid drains from the eye, additional surgery may be necessary.

Continue Learning about Glaucoma Treatments

What is tube surgery for glaucoma?
George A. Williams, MDGeorge A. Williams, MD
Tube surgery is one surgical approach to treating glaucoma. Also called a shunt or an implant, the t...
More Answers
Which foods and supplements are best after glaucoma surgery?
Louis B. Cantor, MDLouis B. Cantor, MD
There is no compelling evidence that foods or nutritional supplements influence glaucoma or woul...
More Answers
What are the possible side effects of glaucoma eyedrops?
American Academy of Ophthalmology's EyeSmartAmerican Academy of Ophthalmology's EyeSmart
Different glaucoma eyedrops can cause different side effects. Because the glaucoma medicine can keep...
More Answers
What Are the Challenges in Treating Glaucoma?
What Are the Challenges in Treating Glaucoma?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.