Trabeculectomy recovery : Hello everyone I'm... - Glaucoma UK

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Trabeculectomy recovery

LyndseyMoo profile image

Hello everyone

I'm now nearly 8 weeks post op from a combined lens extraction and trabeculectomy in my right eye.

Recovery has been... a process but so far everything has been going well but I'm a little concerned as my eyeball has become quite hard/firm when I try to massage it, just over the last few days.

I got an emergency appointment at my opticians and they said everything looked fine (pressure was 11 in operated eye) but I'm just wondering if this is normal?

My eye was definitely more spongy until a few days ago - a little firmer in the mornings but with massage would become softer but the last few days it's just felt rock solid.

I've stopped trying to massage it as much as I was, as 11 is a good pressure for me but I don't see my consultant again for another 4 weeks (last appointment was 2 weeks ago) and there will be things my optician doesn't know about as he isn't a glaucoma specialist.

Due to my age I'm still on steroids to try to stop my immune system from healing the trab and have gone from 3 drops a day to 2 a day at the start of the week, due to reduce to once a day next week.

Has anyone else experienced their eye feeling firm like this? I'd be grateful for any advice or shared experiences.

More info - I'm a 39 years old woman, plateua iris glaucoma with quite severe short sightedness (-6.50) spent about 7 years on various drops which would work just for a while, had laser iridotomy 3 years ago - was on Dorzolamide with timolol and travoprost (still take in left eye) and also ended up taking Brimonidine in my right eye before surgery became necessary as pressure would always creep back up. I have approx 30% damage to my right optic nerve, left eye none so far as it seems to be slightly more stable for now.

10 Replies

Hello LyndseyMoo

I have just had the same combined op as you in my left eye, just over 3 weeks ago so it’s early days yet. My doc is a glaucoma specialist and is not allowing me to massage the eye this time, which is interesting as I did with my previous trab and he does it himself when I visit. All seems to have gone well so far but I am still on mega steroids and weekly checks.

I can’t say I have experienced any difference to the eyeball as yet, but as I said it’s early days for me and I am a lot older than you. I will keep in touch! Good luck for when you see your specialist again.

Hi Redshoes, thanks for your reply 😊 I was told to massage the eye to ensure the trab stayed open as my age means my immune system will battle harder to close it, hence why I'm still on steroids 8 weeks later but I'm now starting to think it isn't my eye that's firm but rather that my eye socket, near my nose, is inflamed perhaps? I'm not sure really! I've emailed my consultants secretary so will wait to hear back and report from there. Good luck with your recovery! X

I hope you get an answer and reassurance from your consultant to put your mind at rest. I went for a check up yesterday snd have now been told to start massaging my eye as it’s trying to heal. A very complicated procedure! I had a trab on my other eye last year and it all settled down eventually, so fingers crossed for us both that all will be OK. X

Hello LyndseyMoo, It is good to know that your operation is successful. I do not know about eye ball message. Were you asked to do it? The different feeling of eyeball may be due to the new lens implant. With best wishes.

Hello, yes my consultant told me to massage to keep the trab open as my age means my immune system will fight harder to close it! It's only been in the last week that it's felt differently but I think it may be inflammation of the eye socket rather than the eyeball so will see what happens next!


I had trabeculectomy and iridotomy at the end of Feb. I'm still on post op steroids 2.5 months later but reduced gradually down. Started at 8 per day but now just once a day.

I wasn't told to massage and to be honest I was nervous about even touching that whole area for the first few weeks !

It's good news that your pressure is down to 11.

All the best.

LyndseyMoo profile image
LyndseyMoo in reply to Stairs10

I wouldnt even let the nursing staff at my eye clinic, touch my operated eye for about 4 weeks post op - only my consultant was allowed to 😂 don't think the nurses liked me much 🤭

Helen_GlaucomaUK profile image

Hi LyndseyMooIf you are still concerned about your eye, hopefully the hospital gave you a contact number to call. If not then give the eye secretary a call. There is nothing wrong with letting your eye specialist know your concern and it will put your mind at rest.

Hi Helen, thanks for your reply. I've emailed my consultants secretary and although my consultant is on leave this week she's offered to get the nurses to call me so I'll hopefully get a call tomorrow. I'll report back on here if there's any update,Thanks again 😊

Hi LyndseyMooJust wondering how your recovery is going. I hope all is settling down OK. I am going for a check on Monday following massage as instructed and am hoping my Consultant might start reducing the steroids - all being well. Pressures in both eyes were down to 10 last time, so that is hopeful but of course they can vary considerably while you are on the steroids. Good game isn’t it!

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