One hundred eyes of 100 patients in whom Tenon's cysts (TCs) developed in the early postoperative period following trabeculectomy with mitomycin C were retrospectively studied to determine their incidence, possible risk factors associated with their development, and the clinical course of the patients in whom they occurred. The incidence of TC formation was 29/100 (29%). Significantly more cysts developed in the men than in the women. There were no significant differences between those patients in whom TCs developed and those in whom they did not in terms of age, race, type of preoperative medications, mean preoperative intraocular pressure (IOP), prior argon laser trabeculoplasty, prior trabeculectomy, prior Tenon's cyst formation, or prior cataract surgery. The 29 patients in whom a Tenon's cyst developed had a mean follow up of 22.0 +/- 12.9 weeks, with a mean IOP at the last examination of 14.2 +/- 6.3 mm Hg (as compared with 20.7 +/- 8.3 mm Hg at the time of diagnosis). One patient required a repeat trabeculectomy with mitomycin C. Two patients required bleb needling, subsequent TC excision, and eventual seton placement. Of the remaining 26, 14 (54%) required no glaucoma medication for IOP control, 11 (42%) required one, and 1 (4%) required two.