Comparison of 3 different releasable suture techniques in trabeculectomy

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The use of releasable sutures provides an effective and simple way of titrating intraocular pressure (IOP) postoperatively. The purpose of this study was to compare the surgical outcome of 3 releasable suture techniques for closing scleral flaps in patients undergoing primary trabeculectomy.


The Wills Eye Glaucoma Research Center retrospectively reviewed the charts of patients who underwent primary trabeculectomy by 3 surgeons using 3 different releasable suture techniques. Ninety eyes of 90 glaucoma patients were divided into 3 groups by releasable suture technique (n = 30 eyes for each group). Main outcome measures included best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), intraocular pressure (IOP), rate of surgical success, use of supplemental medical therapy, need for additional glaucoma surgery, and complications during suture removal.


The BCVA and IOP were similar among the groups for all follow-up visits. As a determinant of success rate of trabeculectomy, mean decrease of IOP after surgery was over 30% in all groups (p = 0.43). The number of postoperative antiglaucomatous medications, number of complications, and need for an additional glaucoma surgery were similar in all groups (p = 0.40, p = 0.87, and p = 0.47, respectively). The differences in suture-related complications, defined as suture break or need for laser suture lysis, were not significant among the groups (p = 0.09).


We found that the 3 most common surgical techniques had similar mechanisms of action. All techniques were safe and effective, yielding similar outcomes. All 3 techniques can be used for closing scleral flaps in patients undergoing primary trabeculectomy.

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