Trabeculectomy Specialist

Comprehensive Ophthalmology located in Libertyville, IL

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Untreated glaucoma can cause blindness, but the standard front-line treatments like eye drops don’t work for everyone. At North Shore Glaucoma Center & Eye Physicians, the board-certified eye doctors offer trabeculectomy surgery to patients with glaucoma. This surgery can prevent eye damage from getting worse. Call the North Shore Glaucoma Center & Eye Physicians office in Libertyville, Illinois, today to see if trabeculectomy is the right treatment for your glaucoma. You can also request an appointment online.

Trabeculectomy Q & A

What is a trabeculectomy?

A trabeculectomy is a surgery that lowers the intraocular pressure (IOP) inside your eye, which becomes dangerously high when you have glaucoma.

Your eye doctor does a trabeculectomy to create a new channel called a bleb in the top of your eyeball. The bleb allows fluid to drain from the eye. A flap of the sclera (eyewall) covers the bleb.

The bleb is under your eyelid, so no one can see it. Your surgeon places sutures near the new drainage site to hold open the flap of sclera at the top of the bleb. The stitches stop the channel from resealing as it heals.

Why would I need a trabeculectomy?

Your eye doctor at North Shore Glaucoma Center & Eye Physicians could recommend a trabeculectomy if you have glaucoma that’s not improving with other treatments.

Glaucoma affects your eye’s optic nerve. Fluid builds up inside the eyeball, putting undue pressure on the optic nerve. Without treatment, this intraocular pressure (IOP) permanently damages the optic nerve. Blindness results if glaucoma destroys the optic nerve.

Treating glaucoma begins with eye drops. An alternative is selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT), which uses laser energy to lower IOP. If these treatments don’t sufficiently reduce your IOP, your eye doctor will suggest other treatments, including trabeculectomy.

What does a trabeculectomy involve?

Trabeculectomy can be done under a general anesthetic or a local anesthetic and sedation. The North Shore Glaucoma Center & Eye Physicians team numbs your eye, cleans it, and fits a device called a speculum under your lids to hold the eye open.

Your surgeon opens the bleb in your eye and sutures the flap open. You won’t be able to feel this. Trabeculectomy surgery lasts 45-60 minutes, and your eye will be swollen and red after surgery. The eyelid might droop a little too, but you should recover in a few weeks.

After your trabeculectomy, you shouldn’t be aware of the bleb — if you feel any discomfort, your surgeon can make adjustments.

Call North Shore Glaucoma Center & Eye Physicians today or request an appointment online to see if you can benefit from trabeculectomy surgery.