Health Tips from a Mother of Three

Is Shunt Surgery Right For Your Glaucoma Diagnosis?

Thanks to advancements in medical technology, treatments for glaucoma have become more effective. One of these treatments is shunt surgery. Shunt surgery is a procedure that involves the placement of a tube in the eye. On the end of the tube is a drainage pouch. Upon insertion into the affected eye, excess fluid is extracted through the tube, helping minimize pressure and the symptoms of the disease. It's a good idea to consider whether shunt surgery is right for you.


Before committing to any type of procedure, exploring the level of effectiveness is an important concept to discover. A common concern for people who suffer from glaucoma is intraocular pressure, pressure that is the result of a buildup of fluid in the eye.

The more excessive the buildup of fluid, the harder it is for the eye to maintain its natural shape and most importantly, the greater the risk of optical nerve damage, resulting in vision difficulties. Shunt surgery is an effective treatment because it removes the buildup of fluid. By removing the buildup, you minimize the risk of intraocular pressure, keep the eye healthier and lower the risk for vision impairment.

Ideal Candidates

While anyone who suffers from glaucoma can have shunt surgery performed, there are some patients that make more ideal candidates than others. People who have undergone an unsuccessful trabeculectomy surgery, those who have had a corneal transplant performed and patients who have vascular disease often make good candidates.

What To Expect

Experiences vary between patients. Generally, local anesthesia to numb the eye area is sufficient. Should your comfort needs require more, sedation by means of general anesthesia is also an option. An otherwise healthy adult can generally expect to be sent home shortly after the procedure is performed. Other patients might be required to complete an overnight stay.

After Care

Fluid removal places the eye in a vulnerable state for infection or damage. To ward off infection, you will be given an antibiotic and your eye will be tapped shut with an eye shield placed over it. Running, lifting, bending or even straining to pass a stool can elevate the pressure level in the eye after the procedure, leading to nerve damage. It's important that you avoid strenuous activity and take medication for problems with constipation until your doctor has given you the clearance.

If you think this procedure is right for you, speak with glaucoma treatment specialists, like the ones at Leader Heights Eye Center.