Glaucoma Surgery Options

Glaucoma Surgery Options

Glaucoma is a progressive eye disease characterized by increased intraocular pressure (IOP) that can cause damage to the optic nerve and lead to vision loss if left untreated. While the primary treatment for glaucoma often involves eye drops to lower the eye pressure, there are instances where surgical intervention becomes necessary. Surgery may be recommended when eye drops alone are ineffective, challenging to instill, or when glaucoma continues to progress despite ongoing treatment. In such cases, various surgical options, including laser surgery and more advanced procedures, can be considered to manage the condition effectively. Your eye doctor or ophthalmologist will guide you on the best treatment options and when surgical intervention may be appropriate.


Laser Surgery: Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT)

Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) is a commonly used laser procedure for glaucoma management. It involves using a laser to target the drainage system of the eye (trabecular meshwork) to improve fluid outflow and reduce intraocular pressure. SLT is generally a safe and effective procedure, often performed in an outpatient setting. It may be recommended as an alternative to eye drops when drops are ineffective or challenging to administer consistently.

The procedure takes only a few minutes and is generally well-tolerated. Some individuals may experience temporary eye discomfort or mild inflammation post-procedure, which can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers or prescribed eye drops. SLT can be repeated if necessary and provides long-lasting effects in many cases.


Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS)

Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgeries (MIGS) have gained popularity in recent years as a less invasive surgical option for managing glaucoma. These procedures aim to improve the outflow of aqueous humor from the eye, reducing intraocular pressure. MIGS procedures are typically performed in conjunction with cataract surgery or as standalone procedures, depending on the patient’s specific situation.

MIGS procedures involve the creation of tiny incisions and the insertion of micro stents or shunts to improve the flow of fluid from the eye. These procedures are usually completed within a short duration under local anesthesia and have a quicker recovery time compared to traditional glaucoma surgeries. However, the effectiveness of MIGS may vary depending on the severity and type of glaucoma, and consultation with an ophthalmologist is necessary to determine if MIGS is an appropriate surgical option.



Trabeculectomy is a more advanced glaucoma surgery that involves creating a tiny drainage channel to allow excess fluid to drain from the eye, reducing intraocular pressure. It is typically considered when other treatment options have failed to manage the progression of glaucoma effectively. Trabeculectomy is performed under local anesthesia in an operating room setting.

During the procedure, a small flap is created in the sclera (white part of the eye), and a reservoir or “bleb” is formed to help divert and regulate the aqueous humor flow. This creates a new pathway for fluid drainage, effectively lowering intraocular pressure. Trabeculectomy requires more postoperative care compared to less invasive procedures, and individuals may need to use eye drops and follow specific instructions to prevent complications.


Dr. Jorge Malouf and the staff of the Malouf Eye specialize in a variety of ophthalmologic conditions and treatments including cataract surgery, glaucoma surgery, strabismus surgery, neuro-ophthalmology exams, oculoplastics, diabetes and more. Call our ophthalmologist in Tampa, FL today at 813-798-2020 if you are interested in learning more about glaucoma. Our eye doctor provides only the highest quality eye care and surgical services amongst eye doctors in the Tampa, Florida area.