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A trabeculectomy is surgery to treat open angle glaucoma. The trabecular meshwork is the drainage system for your eye. A trabeculectomy will help repair the drainage system and decrease your eye pressure. This surgery is usually done if other treatments do not keep your eye pressure low enough.

Eye Anatomy



  • Eyedrops or ointment: These are used to decrease pain and inflammation. They are also used to prevent infection and decrease eye pressure.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider or ophthalmologist in 1 day:

You will need to return to have your eye checked regularly. Your ophthalmologist will check your eye pressure and monitor your eye healing. Bring your eyedrops and medicines with you. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Care for your eye:

  • Do not rub your eye.
  • Ask your ophthalmologist when you can remove the eye shield or bandage.
  • Wash your hands before you touch your eyes or use eyedrops. Do not touch the tip of the medicine dropper to your eye or any other surface.
  • Do not wear eye makeup for 1 week.
  • Wear UVB sunglasses in the daytime to protect your eyes.
  • Ask your ophthalmologist when you can bathe and return to your usual activities.

Prevent an increase in eye pressure:

  • Try not to sneeze or cough.
  • Try not to strain during a bowel movement.
  • Do not lift anything heavier than 5 pounds.
  • Do not get in swimming pools or hot tubs.
  • Do not bend over at the waist for 1 to 2 days after surgery. Instead, bend your knees and squat down. Use a chair or the counter to help you stand up again.
  • Avoid heavy exercise, such as shoveling snow or running.
  • Stay away from people who are sick.
  • Do not wear tight clothing around your neck or chest.

Contact your healthcare provider or ophthalmologist if:

  • You have a fever.
  • Your eye is red, swollen, and draining pus.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You have severe eye pain.
  • Your vision suddenly gets worse.
  • You cannot see at all.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.