What You Need to Know Before Glaucoma Surgery

If you have been told you have glaucoma and that your doctor is recommending glaucoma surgery, you probably have a lot of questions about what's involved, how to prepare, and what to expect the day of your surgery. It's natural to have questions and to be apprehensive about any surgical procedure, so this article includes some answers to the questions we hear most frequently from our patients.

What is Glaucoma Surgery?

The goal of any kind of treatment for glaucoma is to reduce pressure in your eye and slow, or prevent, additional vision loss. Two of the most common surgical procedures to address glaucoma include laser trabeculoplasty and iStent.

Laser Trabeculoplasty

This type of surgery is just what it sounds like: an eye surgery performed with a laser. This beam of light doesn't burn, but when it is focused on the part of your eye where fluid is drained, it can help improve drainage. This releases pressure in the eye, lessening the effects of glaucoma. While you may still need to take some medications after this type of laser eye procedure, your doctor may tell you to stop using prescription eye drops.


If, in addition to glaucoma, you have cataracts, your eye surgeon may instead perform an iStent procedure. This type of surgery is designed to address both glaucoma and cataracts at the same time. iStent is a device that is surgically implanted during your cataract surgery. After the surgery, the device works to lessen the pressure in your eye. Your doctor will determine whether or not you need to continue using other eye medications after your surgery.

While there are other types of procedures, these are the most common types of eye surgery for glaucoma.

What to Know Before Your Appointment

When you have glaucoma and have been told you need eye surgery, it can be hard to make the decision to move forward. Often, people with glaucoma don't experience any eye pain or even notice any vision loss. However, left untreated, glaucoma could lead to a permanent loss of vision.

Glaucoma surgery should not be painful. Your surgical professionals will administer a local anesthetic so you don't feel anything. Most patients do experience some mild discomfort after surgery as their eyes heal, but you should not have severe pain.

Surgery isn't a cure for glaucoma; unfortunately, there isn't a cure yet. Surgery can help limit or stop glaucoma from worsening. Because the effects of glaucoma surgery can lessen over time, you may need to repeat the surgery after several years.

New Vision Eye Center can Help

When you know what to expect from your upcoming glaucoma surgery, you will be more comfortable and confident when the day of your procedure arrives.

If you need surgical treatment for glaucoma, the professionals at New Vision Eye Center in Vero Beach can help. To schedule an appointment, call us at 772-257-8700, or contact us online today.