After glaucoma surgery you will be discharged to return home on the same day. Your eye will be patched overnight and will be removed the following day at your post op visit with your ophthalmologist. A clear shield will be given to you at your visit and this should be worn to bed for the first week to protect the eye during sleep.

Drops will be commenced at your day one post op visit. They will need to be inserted every 1-2 hours whilst you are awake for the first 2-4 weeks. You can expect weekly post op visits for up to 6 weeks after the operation as this is the critical period when the eye is healing from the surgery.

Inserting your post operative drops (click here for more information):

  • Wash your hands.
  • Lie on your bed or couch, tilt your head back and look up towards the ceiling.
  • Insert one lot of drops and wait five minutes, insert the second lot of drops wait another five minutes and insert the third drop.
  • Always screw the lid back on the drops straight away and keep the drops out of direct sunlight.
  • If you need to wipe your eye, do so gently with a clean tissue.

If you experience pain or discomfort take your normal pain relief medication every four hours. If your pain is not relieved by your normal medication or you experience worsening vision please contact Launceston Eye Institute immediately.

Too much healing or scar formation around the surgical site can close off the passageway and/or the trap door. This increases the eye pressure and the surgery will fail without intensive treatment which may include adjusting or removing sutures that are holding the trap door down to allow more drainage.

You may need injections under local anaesthetic of anti-scarring medications to open up the tissue. These injections are done in the consulting rooms and do not require further admission to hospital.

Sometimes the pressure can be too low because there is too much drainage, a leak at the surgical site, and/or the eye stops producing enough aqueous humour. When this happens there can be "swelling" or bleeding behind the eye affecting the retina which may cause poor vision.

This usually settles after a period of time but further treatment may be required.

Following your procedure you may:

  • Return to your normal diet and medication.
  • Watch television and read.
  • Shower, shampoo or have your hair permed after day one.
  • Sleep on the side of your operated eye.
  • Resume normal light household duties.

You should avoid:

  • Heavy manual labour.
  • Dirty, dusty environments or places where chemicals are used.
  • Swimming.
  • Driving for a week after your operation or until your ophthalmologist has confirmed that your vision meets the required legal standard.
  • Avoid any activity where you may hit or poke your operated eye.

In the long term you need to watch out for signs of infection such as red eye, discharge, pain or discomfort, sensitivity to bright light, excess tearing and reduced vision. You should contact Launceston Eye Institute immediately for an appointment to be arranged if you experience these symptoms.

The effect of the surgery can last for many years. Depending on the type of glaucoma you have the success rate is about 70-80% in 5 years.

Only a quarter of the patients will be required to continue with pressure reducing eye drops however usually less than previously required. The majority of patients will not be required to further administer eye drops as the intraocular pressure is reduced to a satisfactory level.

About 10% of patients may need further surgery.


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