Enhanced trabeculectomy: the Moorfields Safer Surgery System

Dev Ophthalmol. 2012:50:1-28. doi: 10.1159/000334776. Epub 2012 Apr 17.


Trabeculectomy with anti-fibrotic treatment is still the most popular incisional procedure for glaucoma filtration surgery (GFS) worldwide. The advent of anti-fibrotic agents reduced failure due to scarring but resulted in increased complications. Advances in trabeculectomy surgery have been driven by the need to minimise the risk of: (1) complications and (2) surgical failure. This chapter covers preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative strategies, which improve the outcome of GFS. Strategies to reduce the risk of complications centre on the prevention of postoperative hypotony by minimising the risk of overdrainage, postoperative wound leaks and poor bleb morphology. Surgical techniques to reduce the risk of postoperative fibrosis by the use of anti-fibrotic agents (including mitomycin C) are discussed in detail. These techniques are based on a combination of considerable clinical experience, observation and laboratory research. The need to address pre-, intra- and postoperative issues in each individual patient is emphasised. These changes are embodied in the system we call the 'Moorfields Safer Surgery System'. The use of these strategies has considerably reduced the incidence of major complications including hypotony, cystic blebs and endophthalmitis in practices around the world. Most of these techniques are simple, require minimal equipment and can be easily mastered. They are associated with an improvement in overall outcome and it is hoped that this chapter will help the reader benefit from these advances.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Glaucoma / physiopathology
  • Glaucoma / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Surgical Flaps*
  • Suture Techniques
  • Trabeculectomy / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome