Purpose: To determine the long-term functional and structural outcomes in patients treated with trabeculectomy for primary open-angle glaucoma.
Methods: Records of 78 consecutive patients (78 eyes) who had their first trabeculectomy were studied retrospectively (duration of follow-up, 25 to 112 months). Serial automated perimetry and stereoscopic optic disc photographs were used to assess the long-term efficacy of trabeculectomy to prevent progressive glaucomatous damage. Stereoscopic optic disc photographs were available for 29 eyes (38%). Criteria for intraocular pressure control were a minimum intraocular pressure reduction of 20% and intraocular pressure at or below 20 mmHg.
Results: There was no evidence of progression of glaucomatous damage in 81% and 65% of the eyes after 3 and 6 years, respectively. The visual field deteriorated in 16 eyes (21%) and progressive structural optic nerve damage occurred in 4 eyes (5%) during follow-up. Deterioration of the optic nerve head in the absence of visual field progression was detected in three (4%) of those eyes. In 19 eyes (25%), further glaucoma surgery was performed. The probability of successful intraocular pressure control after a single operation was 48% and 40% at 3 and 5 years, respectively.
Conclusion: Progressive glaucomatous damage occurs in about one third of eyes with moderate to severe primary open-angle glaucoma over a 6-year follow-up after trabeculectomy.