Glaucoma Treatment Option: Trabeculectomy Surgery
In the healthy eye, fluid called the aqueous humor is made in the front of the eye and flows out through a tiny drain called the trabecular meshwork. The trabecular meshwork is located in an area called the drainage angle. If fluid doesn’t flow out of the drainage angle properly, high pressure increases and damages the optic nerve.
During trabeculectomy surgery your ophthalmologist makes a tiny incision in the conjunctiva (the clear lining over the sclera or the white of the eye). This is done under your upper eyelid and near the edge of the iris.
Next, he or she will create a small flap in the sclera, underneath the incision.
Then, a tiny piece of tissue is removed under the flap to make an opening into the eye. A small piece of the iris may also be removed to keep it from blocking the opening. This opening serves as a new channel for fluid to drain gradually from the eye, reducing pressure.
The flap is sewn back into place with tiny stitches which help guard against too much fluid draining out at once. The area where fluid drains from the trabeculectomy is called a filtering bleb, as fluid filters out of the eye and into the bleb it looks like a bubble. Because the bleb is under the eyelid, it is not usually visible.
More About Glaucoma & Glaucoma Treatment Options
In the healthy eye, fluid called aqueous humour is made in the front of the eye and flows out through a tiny drain called the trabecular meshwork. The trabecular meshwork is located in an area called the drainage angle. If fluid does not flow out of the drainage angle properly, eye pressure increases and damages the optic nerve.
The eye can be compared to a camera. The eye lens is found behind the iris and the pupil. The lens focuses the light back toward the retina and the image is recorded there. Once the image is recorded, the image information is sent to the brain through the optic nerve. The optic nerve connects the eye to the brain in the same way that a computer cable connects a digital camera to a computer to transfer images. If a person has glaucoma, the lens and retina operate normally; however, the optic nerve does not and images are not properly transferred to the brain.
Treatment options for glaucoma include eye drops, pills, laser surgery, traditional surgery or a combination of these methods. When treating glaucoma, the goal is to prevent vision loss, as the disease is progressive and vision loss from glaucoma is irreversible. When glaucoma is detected early, it is drastically more manageable; and with proper medical treatment, most people will not lose their sight.