Types of Glaucoma Surgery: Risks, Benefits & Recovery

July 28, 2023


If you have glaucoma, you may be wondering about your treatment options. There are many options, including several types of glaucoma surgery. OOMC has covered some of the basics of glaucoma surgery, its risks, benefits, and recovery expectations.

Do you want to learn more about glaucoma surgery? Contact us to schedule an appointment.

Types of Glaucoma Surgery

man getting eye examGlaucoma surgery has come a long way in the last few years. Six different types of glaucoma surgeries are available, depending on the severity and type of your glaucoma.

Laser Trabeculoplasty— This non-invasive procedure helps to decrease the pressure in the eye by remodeling the drain of the eye, thus slowing glaucoma progression.

Laser Iridotomy—This laser procedure is used for patients with narrow angles, closed-angle glaucoma, or pigmentary glaucoma. A small hole is made in the iris to establish normal drainage and lower eye pressure.

Xen Gel Stent— A mildly invasive surgery in which a gel-like stent is implanted into the eye to drain fluid, reduce eye pressure, and help prevent additional vision loss.

Trabeculectomy—A surgery that creates a new drainage system for the affected eye. It avoids the normal drain mechanism to reduce eye pressure.

Tube Shunt—A surgery that includes placing a glaucoma device to drain fluid from the affected eye, decreasing eye pressure. It goes around the normal drain mechanism in the eye.

Endoscopic Cyclophotocoagulation (ECP)—A laser procedure that can treat glaucoma during cataract surgery. A small camera guides the laser to lower eye pressure.

Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS)—A collection of newer eye surgeries that can lower eye pressure through a small incision. These procedures don’t lower eye pressure as thoroughly as other procedures; however, they’re less risky and have a quicker recovery time.

Risk of Glaucoma Surgery

All surgical procedures come with risks, including glaucoma surgery. Some risks include:

  • Vision loss
  • Cataracts
  • Infection
  • Bleeding in the eye
  • Eye pressure that’s too low
  • Double vision

If you have questions about glaucoma surgery’s potential risks or benefits, your ophthalmologist can discuss them with you.

Benefits of Glaucoma Surgery

photo of eyeGlaucoma surgery aims to lower eye pressure and preserve your vision. On average, glaucoma surgery procedures have a high success rate.

Lowering eye pressure helps prevent additional damage to your optic nerve, which can lead to vision loss. Sometimes, the outcome of glaucoma surgery is to slow vision loss—rather than stop it entirely—and preserve your sight for as long as possible.

Regular eye checkups can monitor your surgical outcome and whether or not another procedure may be necessary.

Recovery From Glaucoma Surgery

After glaucoma surgery, you’ll receive antibiotic eye drops. These drops prevent infection and can help minimize swelling.

You’ll use these drops for several days or weeks after surgery. Your specific healing timeframe will depend on your glaucoma and the type of surgery you had.

You can’t drive on the day of your procedure or the day after. Your doctor may provide an eye shield to protect your eyes as they heal.

Within a few days, you should be able to watch TV, read, and use your smartphone or computer.

Avoid heavy lifting, bending over, and other vigorous/straining activities as you recover. You can return to light job activities in about one to two weeks.

Learn More About Your Glaucoma Treatment Options Today

If you’re looking for glaucoma treatment, contact a local OOMC practice. Our team will work with your current eye doctor to create a treatment plan and ensure you get the care you need.

Contact us today.

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