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Understanding Trabeculectomy: A Comprehensive Glaucoma Surgery Guide

Posted: Sep 04 2023

An Introduction to Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye disorders that gradually damage the optic nerve, which is responsible for transmitting visual information from the eye to the brain. What makes glaucoma particularly insidious is its subtle progression, often without noticeable symptoms until significant vision loss has occurred. The primary cause behind glaucoma is an increase in intraocular pressure, the pressure within the eye which ultimately impairs the optic nerve’s functionality. Without intervention, glaucoma can lead to irreversible vision loss and even blindness.

There are several types of glaucoma, with open-angle glaucoma being the most common form. In this type, the drainage angle within the eye remains open. Still, the fluid (aqueous humour) doesn’t drain properly, causing pressure to build up. On the other hand, closed-angle glaucoma occurs when the drainage angle suddenly becomes blocked, leading to a rapid increase in eye pressure. While age, genetics, and race play a role in glaucoma’s development, its exact causes are still being studied. Regular eye check-ups and early detection are crucial for managing and treating glaucoma effectively, as vision loss due to glaucoma cannot be restored once it occurs.

What is Trabeculectomy Glaucoma Surgery?

If you’re facing the challenges of glaucoma, a condition that can lead to irreversible vision loss due to increased eye pressure, you’re not alone. OCL Vision offers a highly effective solution – Trabeculectomy, a specialised glaucoma surgery to reduce eye pressure and preserve vision. In this blog, we delve into the details of Trabeculectomy, from what it entails to what you can expect during and after the procedure, pricing options, and potential complications.

Trabeculectomy is an established form of filtration surgery. It has undergone refinement of the technique to improve the safety and the success of the surgery. Trabeculectomy is designed to create a new outflow channel for the aqueous fluid in the eye, thus alleviating elevated eye pressure, a hallmark of glaucoma. This innovative surgical procedure forms a new drainage channel, known as a bleb, in the upper part of the eye, concealed beneath the eyelid. An impressive 95% success rate in achieving the target eye pressure without relying on topical medications makes this procedure a powerful tool in the fight against glaucoma.

Before and During Trabeculectomy

Before embarking on this transformative journey, your consultant may prescribe anti-inflammatory eye drops to optimise the surface of your eye, ensuring an enhanced outcome. The surgery, lasting 45 minutes to an hour, involves several stages. Your vision will be anaesthetised with either local or general anaesthesia. The surgeon will skilfully create a partial thickness flap in the white part of the eye (sclera) and establish a passage connecting the anterior chamber to the newly formed drainage channel.

The meticulously placed “releasable sutures” hold the flap in place, allowing future adjustments to eye pressure if needed. After securing the flap, the conjunctival opening is sutured. A protective antibiotic and anti-inflammatory injection are administered to mitigate infection risk and scarring. Your eye will be dressed with a cotton pad and shield, ensuring a comfortable recovery.

What Can You Expect After Trabeculectomy Glaucoma Surgery?

Post-surgery, a careful healing process ensues. Activities that could elevate eye pressure, such as rubbing the eye, strenuous exercise, and bending down, should be avoided. Your glaucoma drops will be discontinued and replaced with intensive topical steroids and antibiotics for 4-6 weeks. Temporary blurred vision, discomfort, and mild watering are typical during the initial phase. Regular check-ups and a meticulous drop routine characterise the first four weeks of recovery.

As the weeks progress, your vision will return to its pre-operative state, and your eye pressure will stabilise, allowing for the discontinuation of topical medications. Depending on healing progress, the follow-up schedule will include appointments on day 1, week 1, week 2, week 3-4, and potentially week 6. Tailoring the topical steroid drops will be the focus in the following 2-4 weeks, culminating in a comprehensive evaluation once all drop courses are completed.

Managing risks and complications of Trabeculectomy

Trabeculectomy boasts an impressive 95% success rate, positioning it as the gold standard filtration surgery for glaucoma nationwide. While the procedure is well-established and refined, it carries some potential risks like any surgical intervention. The occurrence of complications is minimal, and they usually prove to be transient. These may encompass:

  1. Infection: Incidence is less than 1%.
  2. Uncontrolled Inflammation: Occurring in less than 1% of cases.
  3. Over Drainage (Hypotony): A manageable occurrence, affecting around 5% of cases.
  4. Failure: The success rate is around 95%.
  5. Revision Surgery: Necessary in fewer than 5% of cases.
  6. Lens Opacity: In phakic patients, lens opacity might arise in about 50% of cases within 2-4 years.
  7. Permanent Vision Impairment: Extremely rare, with less than 1% risk.

Should you have inquiries regarding glaucoma surgery or OCL Vision’s services, don’t hesitate to contact them at 0203 993 4268 or online.

Book your Trabeculectomy Glaucoma Surgery with OCL Vision Today

In conclusion, Trabeculectomy offers a ray of hope to those battling glaucoma. With its impressive success rate, well-established procedure, and thoughtful aftercare, this surgery promises to preserve your vision and enhance your quality of life. OCL Vision’s commitment to flexible pricing options further ensures this transformative procedure is within reach. Don’t let glaucoma shadow your world; consider Trabeculectomy as your path to a clearer, brighter sight.

OCL Vision is England’s only surgeon-owned, comprehensive private eye care group. With OCL Vision surgeons operating in dedicated clinics in London and Elstree, Hertfordshire, patients can access world-class eye care closer to home with a specialist consultant who has dedicated their career to a specific branch of Ophthalmology.

With over 180 years of collective experience in eye surgery, OCL Vision is an elite group of eye surgeons who have performed over 60,000 surgical procedures, published more than 250 research papers, and presented their work nationally and internationally. Together, we provide patients with the highest standards of private eye care.

If you have been denied Laser Eye Surgery and would like to discuss other potential treatment options with OCL, make an enquiry online or call on 0203 993 4268

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