Comparison of 3 different releasable suture techniques in trabeculectomy

Eur J Ophthalmol. 2016 Jun 10;26(4):307-14. doi: 10.5301/ejo.5000718. Epub 2015 Dec 29.


Purpose: The use of releasable sutures provides an effective and simple way of titrating intraocular pressure (IOP) postoperatively. The purpose of this study was to compare the surgical outcome of 3 releasable suture techniques for closing scleral flaps in patients undergoing primary trabeculectomy.

Methods: The Wills Eye Glaucoma Research Center retrospectively reviewed the charts of patients who underwent primary trabeculectomy by 3 surgeons using 3 different releasable suture techniques. Ninety eyes of 90 glaucoma patients were divided into 3 groups by releasable suture technique (n = 30 eyes for each group). Main outcome measures included best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), intraocular pressure (IOP), rate of surgical success, use of supplemental medical therapy, need for additional glaucoma surgery, and complications during suture removal.

Results: The BCVA and IOP were similar among the groups for all follow-up visits. As a determinant of success rate of trabeculectomy, mean decrease of IOP after surgery was over 30% in all groups (p = 0.43). The number of postoperative antiglaucomatous medications, number of complications, and need for an additional glaucoma surgery were similar in all groups (p = 0.40, p = 0.87, and p = 0.47, respectively). The differences in suture-related complications, defined as suture break or need for laser suture lysis, were not significant among the groups (p = 0.09).

Conclusions: We found that the 3 most common surgical techniques had similar mechanisms of action. All techniques were safe and effective, yielding similar outcomes. All 3 techniques can be used for closing scleral flaps in patients undergoing primary trabeculectomy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Glaucoma / physiopathology
  • Glaucoma / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sclera / surgery*
  • Surgical Flaps
  • Suture Techniques*
  • Sutures
  • Tonometry, Ocular
  • Trabeculectomy / methods*
  • Visual Acuity / physiology