Like any other operation, glaucoma surgery comes with risks and possible complications. The chance of its success is enhanced if you follow the instructions of your eye doctor regarding the steps and medications that need to be taken after surgery. Still, there are risks involved, and these possible complications after a glaucoma operation can be classified into two types.
Early Glaucoma Surgery Risks
These complications may arise within a couple of weeks after the glaucoma operation:
• Endophthalmitis. Endophthalmitis is the infection of the eyeball. This is a serious complication that may result into permanent blindness. It is characterized by a yellowy discharge, wherein you may even see the fluid in the eyeball.
Endophthalmitis can be very excruciating. You will also have severe impairment in vision when you have this. Once you notice the symptoms, see a doctor immediately, as it will require antibiotic injection into the eyeball. Eye drops and oral medications will also be prescribed.
While the condition is serious, the chance of it happening is quite rare because glaucoma surgery has comprehensive cleaning and infection control techniques. To help the eye doctor even more, discuss any condition that you may have that can compromise your immune system. This will allow the doctor to implement even more precautionary measures.
• Hypotony. The surgery may result into the draining out of more fluid than necessary. When the level of pressure in the eyeball gets too low, you have a condition called hypotony. This will affect the function of the macula and may result into a loss of vision.
This is the most common complication after glaucoma surgery that will bring about blurry vision. Most are mild versions that will correct itself over time. In severe cases however, another surgery may be needed.
Late Glaucoma Surgery Risks
These complications may arise two weeks after the surgery:
• Blebitis. This is a condition in which the bleb, or the conjunctival elevation due to the amassing of fluid draining out from the eye, becomes infected. It is characterized by redness, pain and pus in the bleb. Immediate treatment with antibiotics and steroid eye drops is necessary.
• Cataract. This is a common complication. While cataract occurs naturally as one age, a surgery will quicken the process. Cataract surgery is needed to fix this, though anti-scarring medication may be provided to prevent the drainage channel from failing.
• Drainage Implant Problems. If drainage implants were placed, the inserted silicon tube may touch the cornea or the iris. This will result into a cloudy cornea or an inflammation in the eye. The tube may also wear away from the eyeball. This problem usually occurs late. Surgery will be required to fix this.
• Scarring. Scarring may occur when the drainage channel shuts down again. Eye pressure will go up once more. Bleb needling will have to be performed to open up and restore the drainage. Anti-scarring medication is also given.
Complications should be managed immediately. While some may be more tedious to fix than others, a good surgical outcome can be expected if these are dealt with properly.