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What are the risks of having glaucoma surgery?

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Quick Answer

The risks of glaucoma surgery include infection, bleeding, inflammation, abnormal eye pressure and lost or impaired vision, according to the Mayo Clinic. Glaucoma surgery can also speed up the development of cataracts in some patients.

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Full Answer

The risks involved with glaucoma surgery may increase or decrease depending on the patient's history and the specific type of surgery performed. Doctors can either use a surgical cutting tool or a laser to complete glaucoma surgery, Most doctors try the less-invasive laser procedure first, according to WebMD.

There are three basic types of surgeries to treat glaucoma, according to WebMD. These include surgery to increase the drainage of fluid from the eye, surgery to prevent the closure of the drainage angle, and surgery to decrease the amount of fluid produced in the eye. Depending on the type of glaucoma and the patient’s background, one or several procedures may need to be done to achieve the desired results.

With any glaucoma surgery, the eye is at risk for infection following the procedure, according to the Mayo Clinic. Using an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drop after the procedure greatly reduces some of the biggest risks of this procedure, including infection, inflammation and scarring. Additional procedures may be necessary due to changes in the optic nerve.

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