When traditional treatment for glaucoma fails and eye drops, pills, or laser surgery (trabeculoplasty) does not lower intraocular pressure to a safe level, your eye doctor may recommend a trabeculectomy to prevent blindness.
A trabeculectomy differs from a trabeculoplasty in that a new drain is created in the eye by removing a tiny piece of the wall of the eye, which may include the trabecular meshwork (the natural drain). This creates a new drain, bypassing the trabecular meshwork to reduce eye pressure. Fluid can now drain easily through the new opening into a tiny blister-like reservoir (bleb) underneath the conjunctiva (the clear covering of the surface of the eye). The fluid is then absorbed by the body and the result is normal to near-normal eye pressures.