All about Trabeculectomy: A surgical procedure for glaucoma!

Trabeculectomy is a surgical treatment of the eye for glaucoma which refers to the situation when aqueous humour (eye fluid) is unable to drain normally. The condition increases Intraocular Pressure (IOP) overtime which eventually results in vision loss or blindness if untreated.

The cosmetic eye surgery significantly lowers the pressure inside the eye thereby slowing or stopping vision loss. Your doctor would better suggest undergoing trabeculectomy if the IOP is insensitive to the standard glaucoma treatment such as eye drops or certain medication.


Before the surgery, share all the details of your current medication, blood thinners and eye drops with a consultant. It’s possible he would be recommending continuation of the medicines until the day arrives for trabeculectomy.

During preliminary consultation, ophthalmologist is likely to evaluate the affected eye and consider all underlying causes that may raise complication after the surgery. General wellness check to identify various health anomalies before the cosmetic eye surgery is performed before the surgical procedure for reassurance.

In case the trabeculectomy is to be performed with general anaesthesia, the doctor’s likely to ask the concerned patient for a 12-hour fast prior to the procedure.

The procedure

General or local anaesthesia is given to numb the eye which is then cleaned and fitted with a lid speculum thus keeping it open and exposed. Trabeculectomy creates a new channel or “bubble” which drains the eye fluid thereby restore the eye’s ability to carry the procedure naturally and lowers the IOP.

It must be noted that the procedure won’t cure or restore the lost vision due to glaucoma experienced before trabeculectomy but may treat future possibilities of vision lost or blindness. Surgeon would open a bled right beneath the eyelid so that it remains hidden even after the procedure.

Once the new drainage has been created, stitches are applied to the site, thus keeping the flap open and prevent it from resealing. Stitches won’t be dissolved which means the doctor would’ve them removed two weeks following the cosmetic eye surgery.

It takes more or less 45-minutes to an hour for trabeculectomy to last after which the treated eye is shielded with a patch till the follow-up procedure.

Certain risks

Although considered safe and effective procedure, trabeculectomy involves certain risks such as;

  • Drooping of the eyelid
  • Postoperative infection
  • Swelling and bleeding
  • Double and blurry vision
  • Development of a deep mark or scarring
  • Hypotony (lower IOP)

Severe cases may experience;

  • Haemorrhaging inside the affected eye
  • Choroidal detachment
  • Loss of vision or the eye itself

Low IOP and scarring are most common risks following the trabeculectomy surgery. Low IOP raises risk for choroidal detachment following the symptoms that include aching or subtle throb in the affected eye. While it’s hard to detect, an expert surgeon can have it corrected by adjusting medication and tightening the stitches thus raising the IOP.

In case the bled heals too quickly or scarred tissue development occurs that may hold the fluid drainage, ophthalmologist may reopen the surgical site through a process known as needling. This specific cosmetic eye surgery in Dubai is performed under the local anaesthesia that can be repeated if need arise. Steroid shots may be recommended by the doctor to slow the healing process.


Have your eyes checked by an expert ophthalmologist who would suggest whether trabeculectomy is for you or any other procedure has been recommended.

Asghar Paracha
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