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What are the Different Types of Glaucoma Surgery?

While there are glaucoma medications that can help lower intraocular pressure, if the body either stops responding to these medications or the patient has reached the maximum dosage and they have the need for more treatment, glaucoma surgery is typically the next step that is advised by the glaucoma specialist.
There are many types of glaucoma surgery, and knowing what to expect after glaucoma surgery will depend on which surgery is performed.
Trabeculectomy, and shunts/implants — are some of the most common. Note that many patients with glaucoma and cataract opt to have both surgeries at the same time.

  1. Trabeculectomy- During this surgery an ophthalmologist creates a very small surgical incision to help drain the fluid and decrease the intraocular pressure.
  2. Shunts or implants are surgically inserted into the eye. Once completed, these surgeries allow for the shunt or implant to replace the eye’s damaged draining system, reducing the eye pressure.

What to expect after glaucoma surgery: recovery time?
Recovery time after glaucoma surgery varies according to the patient’s eye condition and the type of glaucoma surgery. Most patients heal within 3 to 6 weeks after surgery. It is recommended to reserve the day after the surgery for recovery time alone. During the rest of the recovery time, it’s generally recommended that postoperative glaucoma patients avoid strenuous activity or situations (heavy lifting, exercise, stressful work, etc.).

What to expect after glaucoma surgery: driving?
The day of and the day after surgery, it’s best to coordinate and pre-plan any rides and transportation that you will need. Some patients feel comfortable driving 2-3 days after the surgery. Whereas some others prefer to wait for up to 1-2 months to get back to normal driving routines. I think it is better to start driving once a person feels confident and comfortable to drive on their own.

What to expect after glaucoma surgery: other necessary precautions?
While glaucoma surgery is very commonly performed and regarded as safe, there is some risk of infection after surgery. Some common precautions that most eye doctors recommend their patients take to avoid infection and other issues after glaucoma surgery include:

  • Don’t rub or scratch your eyes. It’s common for vision to be blurry for a few days after glaucoma surgery, as well as for your eyes to sometimes feel itchy. Whatever you do, resist the temptation to rub or scratch your eyes.
  • Take all prescribed eye drops. These eye drops can help soothe the itchiness as well as prevent infections.
  • Avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity. While no one is asking you to spend the next few weeks on the couch, it’s wise to avoid the gym during recovery time. If your job requires heavy lifting, you may need to request additional time off of work or request other assignments while you recover.
  • Avoid swimming pool. No matter how refreshing a dip in the water might sound, swimming pools, hot tubs, and saunas are breeding ground for infection-causing bacteria, and it’s best to avoid them during recovery.


What to expect after glaucoma surgery: successful results?
The vast majority of patients report that their eye pressure has gone down after glaucoma surgery, improving their eye health overall. Additionally, for most patients the need for glaucoma eye drops reduces substantially after the glaucoma eye surgery.
About Dr. Rajesh Mishra  (MBBS, MS, FAEH, and PGDHM) is a Glaucoma and Cataract surgeon at Advanced Eye Hospital near Vashi, Navi Mumbai. He is trained from the best institutions and has years of experience managing glaucoma patients. Besides his clinical skills, his patients love him for his communication skills. He is a patient listener and empathises with each and every one. He has successfully treated a variety of glaucoma patients, children and adults, as well as operated more than ten thousand cataracts and glaucoma. Consult Dr. Rajesh Mishra by booking an appointment.

About Advanced Eye Hospital and Institute:
Advanced Eye Hospital and Institute in Navi Mumbai is one of the best eye hospitals in Mumbai.  Eye check-up rooms and the operation theatres are state-of-art and equipped with the best diagnostic and surgery machines. Personalised care, infection free modular operation theatres and beautiful ambience compliment the cutting-edge eye care offered at AEHI. Besides treating patients from Kharghar, Nerul, Seawoods, Sanpada, Belapur, Vashi, Ghansoli, Airoli and Panvel, patients from all over western India travel to AEHI for world class eye care management.