When is the role of surgery in the treatment of primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG)?

Updated: Mar 16, 2020
  • Author: Kristin Schmid Biggerstaff, MD; Chief Editor: Inci Irak Dersu, MD, MPH  more...
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Surgery is indicated when glaucomatous optic neuropathy worsens (or is expected to worsen) at any given level of IOP and the patient is on maximum tolerated medical therapy (MTMT).

MTMT varies considerably between individuals, and it may consist of medicines from 1 or several classes (including a beta-adrenergic antagonist, a prostaglandin agent, an alpha-agonist, and a topical carbonic anhydrase inhibitor). Some patients are observed to progress simply because compliance with the medical regimen becomes too difficult because of the following: high drug costs, inability to remember the schedule of multiple medications, inability to instill them in the eyes properly secondary to arthritis or other incapacitation (especially common among elderly patients or those with other chronic systemic conditions), or intolerable ocular and systemic adverse effects.

A brief mention of surgical options is listed below. Detailed information on surgical procedures, indications, and postoperative care is beyond the scope of this chapter.

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