Glaucoma is a potentially blinding disease, but with adequate treatment loss of vision is not necessary. Treatment for several types of glaucoma including open-angle and narrow-angle glaucoma is called filtration surgery, also called Trabeculectomy. It is often performed on patients who have not responded well to medication or laser treatment. Filtration surgery reduces the pressure within the eye. Most of the time drops are adequate, but if not sufficient surgery may be indicated. Dr Wassermann was involved in a multinational trial involving non-penetrating surgery, and had training in Paris to refine this procedure. Depending on the type or grade of glaucoma, a specific procedure will be discussed with you. The surgery may involve valve or tube inplants.

Filtration Surgery is for those:


  • diagnosed with glaucoma
  • that filtration surgery is an appropriate treatment for their condition

What to Expect

After arriving at the Umhlanga Hospital you will be checked in and a sedative may be offered to help you relax. You will then be prepared for surgery. The area around your eye will be cleaned. Local anesthetic will be used to numb your eye. In some cases general anesthetic will be used. When your eye is completely numb, an eyelid holder will be placed between your eyelids to keep you from blinking during the procedure. Your doctor will create a tiny new channel between the inside of your eye and the outside of your eye. A small section of tissue will be removed, creating a channel, to allow fluid to pass through the blocked drainage network onto the white (sclera) of the eye. A valve may be inplated if indicated. The incision will be closed with small stitches and covered with the thin outer tissue of the eye, called the conjunctiva. Blood vessels in the conjunctiva will carry the draining fluid away. Your eye will be patched after your procedure and drops may be prescribed to alleviate any soreness or swelling inside the eye. You are advised to go home and relax for the rest of the day. Follow-up visits are necessary to monitor your eye pressure. It may take a few weeks to see the full pressure-lowering effect of this procedure, and adjustments may need to be made to the filter during this period.