Trabeculectomy Surgery Has Similar Results for the Elderly and the Young

Trabeculectomy, also known as filtration surgery, is a treatment for glaucoma. The goal of trabeculectomy is to open up the drainage angle of the eye to allow fluid called aqueous humor to drain from the eye. Adequate drainage is necessary to maintain eye pressure. Individuals who suffer from glaucoma experience elevated eye pressure which can cause permanent vision damage. Trabeculectomy is just one of many procedures designed to lower intraocular pressure and preserve vision for glaucoma patients.

According to a recent study published in Journal of Glaucoma, the results of trabeculectomy in patients older than 80 years of age were not significantly different from results in younger patients. Researchers analyzed data from Wills Eye Hospital between January 1, 2009 and April 30, 2011. That data included 86 eyes of patients between the ages of 81 and 94 years of age and 86 eyes of patients between the ages of 22 and 79 years of age. Factors such as surgical complications, intraocular pressure, current medications and visual acuity were all taken into account.

The results showed that post-operative complications and failure rates were similar in the older group and the younger group. At one year, results showed that the failed rate of trabeculectomy was 29.5 percent in the younger group and 31.3 percent in the older group.

This study has some interesting implications. Age is often a factor in whether a doctor may recommend or a patient may request a specific procedure. In this study, however, age was not a factor in how the patient responded to surgery.

It is important to note that, after one year, trabeculectomy in both age groups failed about 30 percent of the time. This is a significant failure rate. If you are considering trabeculectomy, it is important to talk to your glaucoma specialist about what options are best for your condition. Early diagnosis and emerging glaucoma treatments and laser surgery are important for optimal glaucoma management (Source: Healio).

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