Glaucoma Surgery

Glaucoma is cataloged as optic nerve damage due to excessive pressure accumulation over time. Glaucoma is hard to detect and often does not affect people until the later stages of life. The intraocular pressure associated with glaucoma forces fluids to stop circulating in the front of the eye. Surgery is needed to drain the fluids and release pressure from within the eye.


Trabeculectomy surgery, also known as filtration surgery, creates an opening in the drainage angle of the eye. A piece of tissue is removed and surgeons use pieces from the eye’s sclera and conjunctiva to create a partial covering. The new opening allows the fluid to drain out of the eye and past the congested channels.

As the fluid flows through the new drainage opening, the tissue over the opening rises to form a little blister or bubble, called a bleb. The bleb is located where the sclera (white of the eye) joins the iris (colored part of the eye). During office visits after surgery, the doctor looks at the bleb to make sure that fluid is still draining out of the new opening. Not all blebs have to be easily seen to work.

Trabeculectomy is used to treat open-angle glaucoma and chronic closed-angle glaucoma. Trabeculectomy is usually done when medicine and laser treatment for glaucoma have failed to reduce the pressure in the eyes enough to prevent damage to a person's eyesight. 

Tube Shunt Surgery

Tube-shunt surgery involves placing a flexible plastic tube with an attached silicone
drainage pouch in the eye to help drain fluid (aqueous humor) from the eye. This type of
surgery is usually done after a trabeculectomy that failed. If a person already has or is likely to form scar tissue in the eye, this type of surgery may be done at the start.

Tube-shunt surgery is most often used for people who have had unsuccessful trabeculectomy surgery, usually due to scarring.

Tube-shunt surgery is also frequently used to treat glaucoma when a person has a:

  • Difficult case of glaucoma and the doctor thinks that other surgical methods may fail.
  • Form of glaucoma in which new blood vessels grow on the colored part of the eye, or iris. This is called neovascular glaucoma and occurs primarily in people with diabetes or who have vascular diseases in the eye. It is difficult to control.

Schedule an appointment with a Greater Ohio Eye Surgeon glaucoma specialist to select the right solution for you.