Glaucoma is a term used for a group of eye conditions that cause damage to the optic nerve due to an increase in intraocular pressure. If left untreated, glaucoma can cause complete vision loss. When drug therapies and medications fail or are inappropriate, surgical treatment may be required. There are two types of surgical techniques used in glaucoma treatment: laser surgery and conventional filtering microsurgery. Although there is no cure for glaucoma, surgery may stabilize vision and prevent future vision loss. Below is an overview of what to expect during glaucoma surgery recovery.
Recovery from Laser Glaucoma Surgery
Laser surgery is a highly effective treatment option for glaucoma patients. This type of surgery helps with reduction of intraocular pressure by enhancing the eye’s draining capabilities. Laser glaucoma surgery is generally recommended to patients who do not suffer from serious elevation of intraocular pressure and those whose optic nerve is not severely damaged.
Although many people can return to normal activities shortly after glaucoma surgery, most ophthalmologists advise patients to avoid heaving lifting, straining and bending for a couple weeks. Periodic checkups are required to monitor the patient’s progress. Risks associated with laser glaucoma surgery predominantly include temporary increase or drop in intraocular pressure and some patients may develop cataracts after laser glaucoma surgery.
Recovery from Conventional Glaucoma Surgery
Conventional glaucoma surgery is a treatment option for patients suffering from high intraocular pressure as well as those with severe damage to the optic nerve. Conventional glaucoma surgery is also performed on patients in whom laser surgery did not bring any relief. The recovery in this case may be accompanied by slight pain or discomfort and it generally lasts longer compared to laser glaucoma surgery.
Recovery time after conventional glaucoma surgery usually does not last longer than 3-4 weeks. In rare occasions, it may linger up to several months. During recovery, patients are advised to avoid heaving lifting, straining and bending for the first couple weeks following surgery until the operated eye completely heals. Conventional glaucoma surgery carries more risk compared to laser glaucoma surgery. Potential complications include bleeding, pain and discomfort after the surgery.
If you suffer from glaucoma and would like to find out if glaucoma surgery may be an appropriate treatment option for you, contact The Eye Institute of South Jersey at 856-205-1100 or eyeinsj.com today.