Glaucoma Surgical Options

Glaucoma Surgery in OKC and Edmond

Incisional surgery is reserved for glaucoma cases in which eye drops or laser treatments were not effective in reducing pressure in the eye (intraocular pressure). In these cases, your glaucoma surgeon can use surgical techniques to enable fluid to drain from the eye or to reduce the production of fluid.

Incisional glaucoma surgery cannot cure glaucoma or undo vision loss, but it can help decrease intraocular pressure (IOP) to prevent further damage to the optic nerve. Surgical treatments for glaucoma are typically performed at the McGee Eye Surgery Center.

Types of Glaucoma Surgery

After careful individual counseling regarding your options, as well as the risks and benefits of glaucoma surgery, your doctor may recommend one of the following types of incisional glaucoma treatments.

Microinvasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS)

Microinvasive glaucoma surgery (commonly referred to as MIGS) is a group of minimally invasive procedures used to lower eye pressure. MIGS treatments typically require less postoperative care, and generally carry less risk than other surgical treatments for glaucoma. There are several types of MIGS procedures including those that use stents, catheters, shunts, or lasers.


Trabeculectomy is a standard incisional glaucoma procedure typically used to treat open-angle glaucoma and chronic angle-closure glaucoma. During the procedure, your surgeon will create a tiny opening where the cornea (the clear part of the eye) meets the sclera (the white of the eye). This opening is then covered by a thin “trap door” (known as a scleral flap) through which small sutures are placed to allow controlled flow of fluid, called aqueous humor, from the eye. Sometimes, a small shunt known as an Ex-Press Glaucoma Filtration Device is placed under the scleral flap instead of surgically creating a hole. This process reduces IOP and prevents further vision loss.

Aqueous Shunt Insertion

Aqueous shunt insertion is an incisional glaucoma procedure used to treat several types of glaucoma when a trabeculectomy cannot be performed or was unsuccessful in the past. Types of glaucoma that commonly require aqueous shunt insertion include congenital glaucoma, neovascular glaucoma, and glaucoma caused by an eye injury.

During the procedure, your surgeon will insert a small, flexible tube through an opening made in the wall of the eye where the cornea meets the sclera. The tube acts as a drain to shunt the eye’s fluid to reservoirs attached to the sclera near the equator of the eye. This leads to a reduction in IOP.

Glaucoma Surgery at Dean McGee Eye Institute

For nearly 45 years, the surgeons at the Dean McGee Eye Institute have been at the forefront of surgical technology and techniques. Halting the progression of glaucoma is possible with quick treatment, and when necessary, surgical intervention. Call 405.271.1093 or 800.787.9015 to schedule an appointment or search our directory to learn more about our glaucoma surgeons.