What are the side effects of glaucoma surgery?


Quick Answer

Side effects of glaucoma surgery include increased pressure in the eye, scarring, blister formation and cataracts. Side effects vary based on the procedure, according to The New York Times.

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Full Answer

The two most common glaucoma surgery procedures are filtration surgery and laser trabeculoplasty. During filtration surgery, an incision is made in the eye to allow excess fluid to drain from the eye. Tiny blisters called blebs usually form after filtration surgery. Although a thick bleb is less likely to leak than a thin one, blebs tend to leak even years after surgery. Additional surgery is commonly needed to repair blebs, explains The New York Times. Scarring is another side effect of filtration surgery and can cause increased pressure in the eye. Cataracts also often form after this procedure.

During laser trabeculoplasty, a laser is used to make between 80 to 100 holes in the eye, notes The New York Times. This allows excess fluid to drain from the eye. Although this procedure has no complications and often takes only 15 minutes, it does not cure glaucoma. About 35 percent of patients experience increased pressure in the eyes after this procedure, with a few of these patients becoming blind as a result. A third of patients develop a condition called peripheral anterior synechiae that causes the iris to stick to the back of the cornea.

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