After Glaucoma Surgery Recovery and Results: What You Need to Know

glaucoma surgery

Over time, built-up fluid in the eye can damage the optic nerve by causing increased pressure, making glaucoma a condition. If left unchecked, glaucoma has the potential to result in irreversible vision loss or blindness. Medication and other therapies come before surgery as first lines of treatment, yet certain individuals might need surgery later on for glaucoma management.

After the procedure, what should one anticipate if their doctor suggested glaucoma surgery? An examination of the recuperation procedure, potential consequences, and recommendations for looking after your sight after glaucoma surgery is available here.

Recovery Timeline after Glaucoma Surgery

Recovery time changes based on which glaucoma operation was carried out. Here’s what to expect with some of the most common types of glaucoma operations:

Trabeculectomy: A new channel for draining fluids is created in the eye during this surgery. During the initial period, these symptoms are typical: swelling and blurred vision. Within 1-2 months, most individuals can resume regular functions. After this amount time has elapsed (approximately), full recovery should happen.

Tube shunt implantation: An external tank receives eye liquids after a minute tube insertion. At first, these symptoms are normal: mild discomfort, tearing, and sensitivity to light. Resuming regular activities usually takes around 1-2 weeks for most individuals. Around one month is needed for full recovery.

Laser trabeculoplasty: Opening the drainage angle of the eye requires a laser. With this outpatient procedure, very little to no recovery time is needed. Temporary blurring or darkness of vision may last for a few hours or days.

Minimally invasive glaucoma surgeries (MIGS): Implants are used to facilitate better drainage with these more recent methods. Recovery time of approximately one week or less for them.

Caring for Your Eyes After Glaucoma Surgery

To support optimal healing and results after glaucoma surgery, follow all of your surgeon’s postoperative care instructions carefully. Typical recommendations include:

  • Using prescribed antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops for several weeks.
  • Wearing an eye shield at night to protect your eye.
  • Avoiding strenuous activity for 1-2 weeks.
  • Keeping your head elevated when lying down.
  • Using cool compresses to help with swelling and discomfort.
  • Wearing sunglasses when going outside to protect your eyes from wind and bright light.
  • Keeping follow-up appointments so your surgeon can monitor your recovery.

Expected Outcomes and Success Rates

The goal of glaucoma surgery is to lower eye pressure to slow or halt optic nerve damage. Surgery may stop further vision loss, but generally cannot restore vision already lost from glaucoma. With successful surgery, many people with glaucoma are able to maintain their current vision for life.

Success rates depend on the type of glaucoma surgery:

  • Trabeculectomy has an initial success rate of 60-90%. After 10 years, around 50% of trabeculectomies are still successfully controlling eye pressure.
  • Tube shunts have a 1-year success rate of 60-80%. Over 5 years, success rates are about 50-60%.
  • Laser trabeculoplasty is effective in lowering eye pressure in around 75% of patients at 1 year, but the effects diminish over time. After 5 years, only 20% maintain significantly lower pressures.
  • MIGS procedures have 1-3 year success rates ranging from 44-75%, varying by implant type. Long-term data is still limited for these newer techniques.

Factors like the type of glaucoma, eye pressure levels prior to surgery, and proper wound healing all impact individual success rates. Following your surgeon’s postoperative instructions can help improve the odds of a good outcome from glaucoma surgery. With routine monitoring and ongoing treatment as needed, the procedure can successfully preserve your vision.

To book an appointment for your glaucoma treatment, get in touch with us through We are more than happy to provide seamless eye care services because we truly believe that ‘every eye deserves the best’.