What to expect on surgery day
You will need to arrive at the surgery center 30-60 minutes prior to your procedure. Once the team has checked you in, the nurse will prepare you for surgery. They will clean the area around your eyes, apply a sterile drape, give you a sedative to help you relax and numb your eye with local anesthesia. When your eye is completely numb, an eyelid holder will be placed between your eyelids to keep you from blinking.
Using advanced microsurgical techniques and equipment, your doctor will create a tiny new channel between the inside of your eye and the outside of your eye. They will then remove a small section of tissue creating a channel, to allow fluid to pass through the blocked drainage network onto the white (sclera) of the eye. The incision will be closed with small stitches and covered with the thin outer tissue of the eye, called the conjunctiva. Blood vessels in the conjunctiva will carry the draining fluid away.
To keep the drainage channel open, your doctor may apply an extremely small dose of a chemotherapeutic agent to the new filter. The doctor will check your eye pressure shortly after your procedure and may prescribe drops to alleviate any soreness or swelling inside the eye. You should go home and relax for the rest of the day. Most patients resume normal activities within a few days.
Follow-up visits are necessary to monitor your eye pressure. It may take a few weeks to see the full pressure-lowering effect of this procedure, and adjustments may need to be made to the filter during this period. These adjustments may include:
- An injection of small amounts of chemotherapeutic agents
- Loosening or removal of one or more stitches
- Finger pressure to the eye to force fluid through the filter
- Numbing the eye and opening the channel slightly with a fine instrument
- Placing a contact lens over the eye