Trabeculectomy with Releasable Sutures

Allan E. Kolker, Michael A. Kass, Julian L. Rait

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74 Scopus citations


To determine whether the use of releasable scleral-flap sutures affects the success rate and the incidence of complications following trabeculectomy. A retrospective chart review of a consecutive series of trabeculectomies. A university-based referral practice. Two hundred fifty-eight consecutive patients (274 eyes) undergoing trabeculectomy because of uncontrolled glaucoma. During the first year, 124 patients (128 eyes) underwent trabeculectomies with permanent scleral-flap sutures. During the second year, 134 patients (146 eyes) underwent trabeculectomies with releasable scleral-flap sutures. Incidence of flat and shallow anterior chamber, incidence of operations to drain choroidal detachment and to re-form anterior chamber, and long-term control of intraocular pressure. In the group with permanent sutures, 42 eyes (32.8%) had clinically detectable shallowing of the anterior chamber in the early postoperative period. In contrast, a shallow anterior chamber was noted in 21 eyes (14.4%) in the group with releasable sutures (P=.0003). Flat anterior chamber, defined as iridocorneal apposition to the pupil margin, occurred in 11 eyes with permanent sutures (8.6%) but in only two eyes (1.4%) with releasable sutures (P=.0078). Surgical intervention to drain suprachoroidal fluid and re-form the anterior chamber was required in eight eyes with permanent sutures (6.2%) but in only one eye with releasable sutures (0.7%) (P=.014). At 1-year follow-up, the two groups were similar in terms of intraocular pressure and the need for ocular hypotensive medications. Releasable scleral-flap sutures reduce the incidence of shallow and flat anterior chamber after trabeculectomy without compromising long-term control of intraocular pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-66
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Ophthalmology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1994


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