Long-term follow up of surgical repair of late bleb leaks after glaucoma filtering surgery

Sami Al-Shahwan, Abdullah A. Al-Torbak, Ibrahim Al-Jadaan, Mamdouh Omran, Deepak P. Edward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: To study the long-term outcomes of surgical revision of leaking blebs after trabeculectomy and identify possible risk factors for failure. PATIENT AND METHODS: A retrospective, nonrandomized, noncomparative interventional study of 34 eyes with late bleb leaks after trabeculectomy that underwent bleb excision with conjunctival advancement. The primary outcome measure was successful repair and control of intraocular pressure (IOP). The other measures evaluated included change in visual acuity from baseline and complications such as recurrence of bleb leak, endophthalmitis or the need for additional antiglaucoma medication to control IOP. RESULTS: After a mean follow up of 36.2±23 months, the mean IOP at the last visit was 14.5±7.6 mm Hg. IOP in 58.8% of eyes was controlled without medication. Complications included early leaks (7/34), late recurrent or persistent leaks (1/34), and endophthalmitis (1/34). In all, 41.2% patients required additional medication at the last visit. Survival analysis at 22 months the probability of total and qualified success was 52% and 72%, respectively. However, this dropped to 10% and 15%, respectively, at 5 years. The probability of total and qualified success further dropped to 2.5% and 5% at 5 years when the IOP cut-off was lowered from 21 to 15 mm Hg. Cox regression analysis failed to identify risk factors for bleb failure. CONCLUSIONS: Surgical bleb revision seems to be effective in treating late bleb leaks with few postoperative complications. However, patients should be followed carefully as late failure of bleb function beyond 2 years is a significant possibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)432-436
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Glaucoma
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Conjunctival advancement
  • Conjunctival autograft
  • Filtering surgery
  • Glaucoma
  • Leaking blebs
  • Surgical revision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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