Trends in Glaucoma Surgical Procedures in Portugal: A 16-Year Nationwide Study (2000-2015)

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Glaucoma leads as the first cause of irreversible blindness. The number of patients will greatly increase in upcoming years and changes will have to be accomplished to cope with those numbers. As such, data are important to understand the effect of new policies introduced in glaucoma management. Only few countries have described their glaucoma surgical profile and, in Europe, only the United Kingdom described the last 15 years. The aim of this study is to assess the glaucoma surgical profile and its changes in mainland Portugal from 2000 to 2015.


Retrospective database analysis of inpatient and surgical outpatients’ episodes of all public hospitals in mainland Portugal was performed. The annual absolute numbers of ophthalmic procedures, as well as their surgical rate (per 100,000 inhabitants) were calculated.


Glaucoma patients undergoing glaucoma procedures were 67±14 years old and 50% were female. During the study period there was an increase in the number and surgical rate of glaucoma procedures. Trabeculectomy showed a stable surgical rate (7 per 100,000 inhabitants) despite a reduction in terms of relative weight among glaucoma procedures. At the same time, the surgical rate of glaucoma drainage devices and cyclophotoablation increased, while remaining stable for cyclocryoablation.


In Portugal, trabeculectomy had a stable surgical rate throughout the study period, being the most performed glaucoma surgical procedure. Other surgeries, like glaucoma drainage devices and cyclophotoablation are gaining ground among glaucoma specialists. Our results match what has been published by other countries worldwide and can be used to achieve a better health planning.

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