Surgery reduces the pressure in the eyes by opening blocked
drainage angles or creating a new opening that fluid can
flow through to leave the eye. In some cases surgery may be done to relieve pain caused by
Medicine will usually
be tried before surgery is considered.
As our population ages, vision loss from eye diseases is increasing.
According to the National Eye Institute (NEI):
About 3.3 million Americans aged 40 or older are blind or have low vision. This is about 1 in every 28 people.
By 2020, that number could be 5.5 million -- a 60% increase.
NEI has identified the most common eye diseases in people over age 40 as:
Age-related macular degeneration
Diabetic eye disease
To catch eye conditions...
Doctors can use
either a surgical cutting tool or a very focused beam of light, called a laser,
to do surgery for glaucoma.
Laser surgery is usually the first type of surgery tried. If laser surgery doesn't help, your doctor may try
It is not
unusual for some people to have both open- and closed-angle glaucoma. They may need more than one kind of procedure.
Surgery choices for adults
There are three basic types of surgery for glaucoma in
Surgery to increase drainage of fluid from the eye
This type of surgery involves making a trapdoor that allows fluid to
drain from the eye.
involves an incision to remove a piece of tissue to allow fluid to drain from the
Tube-shunt surgery (seton glaucoma surgery) involves an incision to place a
tube in the eye to allow fluid to drain.
Laser sclerostomy removes a piece of the white part of the eye to allow fluid
to drain. This type of surgery is rarely done.
Surgery to prevent closure of the drainage angle
These procedures involve making a new opening in the
colored part of the eye (iris) that allows fluid to flow through the eye. They
are used to treat sudden (acute) and long-term closed-angle glaucoma. The procedures also will prevent
closed-angle glaucoma in people who have narrow drainage angles.