Conventional or Up-to-date Glaucoma Surgery?


Aside from taking medicines, like eye drops, it is still better if you will undergo a glaucoma surgery, especially when medication is not enough.  The surgery will depend on the type and severity of your glaucoma.

Technological advancement paved its way for science to create a more dependable, accurate treatment for glaucoma.  If you are suffering from glaucoma, what would you choose a conventional surgery or an up-to-date glaucoma surgery?

Conventional Surgery

For those who are brave enough to undergo operation, conventional surgery fits you.  It is a traditional eye operation wherein the doctor creates a new opening or drainage using a small surgical tool.  The new opening allows the aqueous humor or the fluid in the eye to flow. This is 60 to 80 percent effective at lowering eye pressure for treatment of glaucoma.

Patients do not feel pain during the eye operation because anesthetic and relaxing medications are given prior to the surgery. To begin with the surgery, an injection is given around or behind the eye.  This prevents eye movement and enables the patient to relax and feel drowsy.  In this way, the patient will not really experience pain during the surgery.

The surgery is an outpatient procedure.  There are three (3) kinds of conventional surgery: trabeculectomy, trabeculotomy and goniotomy. Trabeculectomy is the most common surgical non-laser procesdure.  This includes partial removal of the eye’s drainage system.  A ‘controlled’ passage for the aqueous is constructed.  Trabeculotomy, on the other hand, the new opening is made without the removal of tissue. Goniotomy is specifically for infants and small children.  A special lens is used to view the inner eye structures to be able to create openings in the trabecular meshwork.

Shortly after surgery, the eye will be red, irritated and increase in eye tearing or watering.  With this, patients are advised to keep out from water for at least a week but they can do their daily activities, except for driving, reading, bending, and doing any heavy lifting.  They may experience some vision changes, like blurred vision.  However, it will return to its regular vision after some time.

Patients are required to go back once in a while for check-up with their doctors to check the eye pressure. This will also enable the doctors to check if there are signs of infection or inflammation.

Laser Surgery

For those who are afraid or not comfortable of conventional surgery, the advancement of technology will make it easier for you. Unlike conventional surgeries that require eye operation, laser surgery just needs a laser machine.

Laser trabeculoplasty is done to help drain the fluid out of the eye with the aid of laser. Numbing drops will be first applied before the surgery.  The doctor will be holding a special lens while you sit facing the laser machine.  This laser surgery involves a high-intensity beam of light aimed at the lens of your eye and reflecting in the meshwork of your eye.  The patient might see flashes of bright green or red light.  The fluid in the eye is drained when the drainage holes in the meshwork of your eye are evenly spaced by the laser. After the surgery, the patient might experience side effects like inflammation.  The doctor might give eye drops to ease these immediate effects.  Usually, a day after the laser surgery, patients can do their normal activities.

Laser surgeries are one of the best contributions of technology in science.  Whatever glaucoma surgery you choose, whether a conventional one or an up-to-date surgery, you must make sure that you have an expert doctor and you are ready to undergo the surgery.


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