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Glaucoma - Surgery

Surgery choices for children

For congenital glaucoma, there are two slightly different procedures that both attempt to open the drainage angle directly. They are equally successful in children, but they are not used for adults. If these procedures fail in a child, then trabeculectomy or tube-shunt surgery may be tried.

Deciding about surgery

Deciding whether to have surgery is difficult because:

  • You may not be in pain or notice any vision loss.
  • Your vision may get worse right after surgery and may be affected for weeks or months. Your eyesight may not be as good as it was before the surgery.
  • Surgery isn't a complete cure for glaucoma. But surgery can decrease the chance of losing even more eyesight later on. And for some people, it can reduce or get rid of the need for eyedrops.
  • Not everyone who has laser surgery will have lower IOP after the surgery. For most people, the lower pressure will last only a few years. Others may have an increase in their eye pressure. Certain types of open-angle glaucoma respond better to laser surgery than others.
  • The effects of some laser treatments aren't long-lasting. Repeat laser treatments, medicines, or other surgeries may be needed later on.

As with any other surgery, you and your doctor should make the decision to operate based on the risks and benefits of having the surgery. One thing to consider is which eye should be operated on first. There may be other questions about glaucoma surgery that you should discuss with your doctor before making a decision.

Cataracts may occur in people who also have glaucoma. This commonly occurs in older people. Surgery to remove the cataract may be done at the same time as surgery for glaucoma. If surgeries for glaucoma and a cataract are done at the same time, you may notice improved eyesight after surgery.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 05, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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