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Trabeculectomy Bleb Needle Revision With 5-Fluorouracil

Zheng, Linda MBBS(Hons), MMed; Arvind, Hemamalini FRANZCO; Wechsler, David FRANZCO

doi: 10.1097/IJG.0000000000000235
Original Studies

Purpose: To evaluate outcomes of trabeculectomy bleb needle revision with 5-fluorouracil augmentation performed in the operating theater.

Methods: Retrospective study of all patients undergoing trabeculectomy bleb needle revisions in the operating theater performed by a single surgeon in a metropolitan hospital in Australia. A total of 51 needle revisions were performed on 33 eyes over a mean follow-up time of 1.81±1.56 years.

Results: A total of 29% achieved intraocular pressure (IOP) ≤20 mm Hg off all glaucoma medications, and an additional 39% achieved qualified success with the addition of glaucoma medications, giving overall success of 68%. Analyzing success rate for target IOP≤16 mm Hg, 24% achieved target off all glaucoma medications, 35% achieved qualified success with the addition of glaucoma medications, giving an overall success rate of 59%. There was a statistically significant improvement in IOP, as compared with preoperative levels, at all timepoints postoperatively (P<0.05). However, number of glaucoma medications remained unchanged (P>0.05) contributing to the high percentage of qualified successes. Visual acuity remained unchanged and there were no major postoperative complications. The Kaplan-Meier survival shows a survival rate of 60% with IOP≤20 mm Hg and 40% for IOP≤16 mm Hg at 5 years.

Conclusions: Trabeculectomy needle revision is a useful option for the management of elevated IOP in the presence of a failed or failing trabeculectomy bleb. However, as with trabeculectomy, there tends to be a failure rate over time. This often leads to reinstitution of glaucoma medications and/or further needle revisions to maintain IOPs at target level. The procedure itself is minimally invasive with an acceptable safety profile.

Department of Ophthalmology, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Linda Zheng, MBBS(Hons), MMed, Department of Ophthalmology, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, Hospital Road, Concord West, 2139, Sydney, NSW, Australia (e-mail:

Received April 13, 2014

Accepted January 8, 2015

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