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Dr. JLB, Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 86
Experience:  General Ophthalmologist, Fellowship trained in Refractive Surgery
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I had a trabeculectomy almost 4 weeks ago, and am still being

Customer Question

I had a trabeculectomy almost 4 weeks ago, and am still being seen on a weekly basis. The "inactivity" required is driving me stir crazy. I am a 61 year old active female. When I overdo my activities my eye gets sore. Is this "normal" and how long is the average recuperation period?
Thank you for an information on after care of a trabeculectomy.
Submitted: 8 years ago via Glaucoma Research Foundation.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. JLB replied 8 years ago.

The recovery period after trabeculectomy varies greatly between patients. The factors that affect the length of recovery include:

1. The eye pressure after the procedure. If the pressure is too low or too high the recovery may take longer (1 to 2 months)

2. The amount of corneal swelling. If the cornea swells significantly, it can also delay healing along with a long period of blurry vision after the procedure. It may also take one to two months for full recovery.

3. Swelling in the retina (the back of the eye). This is painless yet makes the vision significantly blurry; sometimes for as long as three months.

4. The degree of visual loss already present from glaucoma prior to surgery. In some cases, if the pressure is high post-operatively, there can be additional visual loss after the procedure. This process is slowed down once the pressure is stabilized.

The reason you must refrain from strenuous activities is because these tend to increase eye pressure and inflammation. Both of these factors can cause discomfort and affect your vision in the long term.

I know it is difficult to abide by the restrictions, but remember that relatively speaking, this is a short term sacrifice in exchange for a good long term result.

I hope this helps and good luck during this difficult time...


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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you for your answer. Patience has never been a strong point of mine, but I'm trying. From what you answered, I can expect this "trying time" to go on another month? My eye pressure was 9 last week and she thought this was just right. The more severe bluriness comes and goes. And i really didn't have much vision loss before, more spiking of my pressure, in the 30's is what made her adamant that this was the best treatment for me. I'm really wondering if I should have done a laser procedure instead. And I have my other eye to deal with - pressure also in the mid 20's with no loss of vision.
Expert:  Dr. JLB replied 8 years ago.

Laser treatment is an alternative; however, most patients usually end up needing a trabeculectomy eventually. For this reason, I believe you have made the correct decision in undergoing this procedure. You may even find that you will not need drops for pressure control after both eyes have been surgically managed.

Still, I would discuss the laser alternative for the other eye with your eye doctor. The pressure appears to be lower in this eye and recovery form the laser is definitely faster. You may be able to wait before undergoing trabeculectomy in this other eye.

Ultimately, I would follow your doctor's recommendations as she must have a good handle on all the particulars of your case.

I think one more month of recovery is a good estimate at this point. And congratulations on the current pressure of 9, that is excellent!

Once again, best of luck during this tough time...

God Bless,