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Glaucoma Surgery Options: What Patients Should Know

By David Gross on October 29, 2016


An older patient with an eye doctorThe team at Deen-Gross Eye Centers believes in helping the people of Merrillville have healthy eyes and great vision for the years to come. When dealing with serious eye problems such as glaucoma, we are especially concerned with early detection and proper treatment to save a patient's eyesight.

There are many surgical and non-surgical glaucoma treatment options out there. Let's consider the basics of glaucoma first and then go over some common surgical treatments that can save a person's vision.

About Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a type of eye disease that affects the optic nerve. Excessive pressure within the eye damages the optic nerve, resulting in permanent vision loss. While glaucoma itself is incurable, various treatments can be used to slow down the rate of a person's vision loss. The main goal of eye care treatments, in order words, is to preserve a patient's remaining vision as best as possible.

When is Surgery an Option for Glaucoma?

In general, surgery for glaucoma is recommended when a patient's vision loss does not respond to non-surgical treatment for glaucoma. If a person suffers from an advanced level of vision loss, surgery may performed in order to prevent even more vision loss.

Trabeculectomy

The most common type of surgery performed to address glaucoma, a trabeculectomy helps relieve intraocular pressure by creating an intentional leak of the aqueous humor of the eye. This leak is made in the eye's natural drainage system. The excess fluid is filtered out through the sclera, the white portion of the eye, and filters into a small reservoir that is concealed by the eyelid.

Similar variations on the trabeculectomy include the trabeculotomy and the goniotomy, the latter of which is more common for children who suffer from glaucoma.

Iridotomy and Iridectomy

Iridotomy and iridectomy are also surgeries that are performed to reduce intraocular pressure by altering part of the eye's structure.

During an iridotomy, a laser is used to create a small hole in the iris in order to promote drainage of fluid. An iridectomy, on the other hand, removes a portion of the iris to allow for better flow of fluid within the eye.

Shunts and Stents

Shunts and stents can both be placed into the eye during a trabeculectomy in order to assist with drainage and the reduction of intraocular pressure. These tubes are often made of silicone or polypropylene, and help enhance the results of a trabeculectomy.

Glaucoma Implants

Though glaucoma implants is a term that may refer to shunts and stents, the phrase could also be used to refer to another surgical treatment for glaucoma. In this latter context, a glaucoma implant refers to a device placed in the eye that causes a sustained release of glaucoma medication, helping ease intraocular pressure in the process.

Which Surgery Option is Right for Me?

Each of these surgeries carries their own advantages and disadvantages that are important to consider. During the consultation process, we can go over all of your treatment options in greater detail, discussing the risks and benefits of your various options. Our goal will be to save your vision and to help you work with your current/remaining vision so you can lead a fulfilling life.

Contact Deen-Gross Eye Centers

For more information about your different treatment options for glaucoma, be sure to contact our vision correction and eye care center today. The team at Deen-Gross Eye Centers will help you prevent vision loss and lead a healthy and enriching life.

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