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The surgical management of leaking filtering blebs

Section Editor(s): Krieglstein, Günter K.Loane, Mark Edward MBBS, FRACO, FRACS*; Galanopoulos, Anna MBBS, FRACO, FRACS

Current Opinion in Ophthalmology: April 1999 - Volume 10 - Issue 2 - p 121-125

Leaking blebs may be encountered in the early postoperative period, or months to years after filtering surgery. Early postoperative bleb leaks are most often related to surgical trauma to the conjunctiva and can be avoided by careful surgical technique. Spontaneous late bleb leaks occur more frequently in glaucoma filtering surgery following adjunctive use of antimetabolites and full-thickness procedures. As we endeavor to achieve better long-term success with filtering surgery, antimetabolites have gained increasing popularity. With this change in clinical practice, a higher rate of bleb leaks is being recognized. These leaks may be uncomplicated or may be associated with sight-threatening complications such as endophthalmitis. The plethora of treatment options for bleb leaks described in the literature reflects the widespread nature of this problem. It also reflects the failure of any one particular approach not only to resolve bleb leaks but also to prevent their recurrence. This paper reviews the contemporary surgical management of leaking blebs and formulates a practical approach to their management.

*Greenslopes Private Hospital and Wesley Medical Center, Brisbane, Queensland 4066, Australia. Department of Ophthalmology, Flinders Medical Centre, Flinders University, Bedford Park 5042, South Australia.

© 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.