The Risks and Benefits of Undergoing Glaucoma Surgery in Appleton, WI

by | Mar 6, 2018 | eye care center

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Glaucoma is one of the most common underlying causes of blindness. This progressive condition affects a patient’s optic nerve fibers, which are responsible for carrying visual information from the retina to the brain. It is caused by excessively high intraocular pressure, or IOP, which is why the only effective treatments for glaucoma are all focused on lowering IOP.

Medical Treatments

Most eye doctors will begin with medical treatments such as pharmaceutical eye drops and minimally-invasive laser techniques. However, if these techniques do not provide adequate results or are not tolerated by the patient, Glaucoma Surgery in Appleton WI may be required. Read on to find out more about the risks, benefits, and side effects of surgery below.

Understanding Risk

As with any surgery, glaucoma surgery does come with a certain number of risks. For the most part, trabeculectomies are a very effective means of reducing intraocular pressure and substantially slowing the progression of this degenerative disease. Given that inadequately treated glaucoma almost always leads to total vision loss, it’s understandable that most patients feel that the risks of surgery are worth the extremely high possibility that they will be able to prevent further damage.

Short-Term Side Effects

Glaucoma surgery temporarily disrupts a patient’s vision and may, in very rare cases, lead to permanently reduced vision. Note that while temporary vision loss is not uncommon, nearly all patients who choose to undergo Glaucoma Surgery in Appleton WI ultimately find their vision is restored within just a few days.

Preventing Infection

Eye doctors prescribe antibiotics for use before, during, and after a patient’s surgery and maintain sterile techniques to avoid infection. Unfortunately, though, in rare cases, infections do still occur even long after the surgery has successfully been performed. Patients should look for signs of infection, such as redness, pain, and excessive tearing and seek medical attention immediately in the event any of these symptoms occur.

The Takeaway

While there are risks associated with glaucoma surgery, the negative side effects described above occur only very rarely. Most patients find that surgery is an effective way to slow the progression of this disease and maintain optimal eye pressure. Make an appointment to discuss the risks and benefits of glaucoma surgery with a dedicated professional today.

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