How Much Expertise is Needed to Operate - Trabeculectomy?

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by Wendela, Jun 11, 2006.

  1. Wendela

    Wendela Guest

    My mother is in need to a Trabeculectomy procedure for her wide angle
    glaucoma that she has been treating with eye drops for 20 some years
    and she's trying to pick a surgeon. Question is: How difficult is
    this operation? Would having a great surgeon matter, or are chances for
    success more linked to individual eye health/luck? Her MD is the chief
    of staff of the hospital practice and a Glaucoma doctor who is famous
    for his research work. She likes him and knows he's brilliant, but
    operating and publishing are two different things.

    -77 years old
    -Prior surgeries with SLT laser which caused huge cataracts and retina
    fluid damage, done by the doctor who now wants to operate on her. Scar
    tissue in one eye caused either by SLT (but I doubt it) or the lazy eye
    -Nystagmus causing eye movement
    -Years of taking 4 different eye drops multiple times daily.
    -Big cataracts caused by age and SLT surgery (doctor will not admit
    surgery was a factor)

    Before she decided to consult with the chief of staff of the hospital,
    she had a surgeon who, although he's not world famous for his
    research is one of the 2 top surgeons in the city. (Chief of staff is
    new and is a brilliant researcher).

    After years of her pressure being in the 20's from an MD who retired,
    she changed medicines and her pressure was in the 40's, so she chose
    to consult with the surgeon who was known for his excellent work. He
    wanted to operate immediately, but she chose instead to go with the SLT
    laser. The SLT later was repeated 3 times and although it kept working,
    it stopped working in the long run and she went back to 40 last week,
    despite that the first time the SLT was done, her pressure was 18 in
    both eyes. I begged her to move to get the surgery then, but she was
    reluctant to do so.

    Now I would still like her to go back to the doctor known to be an
    excellent surgeon but if the operation isn't that difficult, it
    won't matter where she gets the surgery done. I'm sorry I'm
    being vague here, but we are closely coming upon her time for surgery
    and we have to beg surgeon #1 for a chance to even see him and it's
    even hypothetical that she can get an appt with him.

    We need to hurry with making a decision of either begging the doctor
    she consulted with previously to do the operation, thereby cutting ties
    with current one, or if the surgery isn't that difficult, stay with the
    doctor who is the brillant one but you know nothing of his surgical
    technique. This seems ridiculous to say, but he just seems
    klutzy...sorry to offend anyone out there. My logical part of my mind
    is saying that there's no way he'd make it this far being a
    klutz....I'm just nervious for mom who has a terrible time getting
    around now.

    Thanks in advance.
    Wendela, Jun 11, 2006
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  2. Wendela

    Wendela Guest

    Thank you. I know he's book smart, but I would think the more
    operations a surgeon does, the better's scary for us. Are
    there any factors that an individual can do after surgery to increase
    chances for success? she's talking about making sure the house is
    spotless so she doesn't invite germs for infections and such...
    Wendela, Jun 13, 2006
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  3. Wendela

    serebel Guest

    While making the house "spotless and germ free" is a bit of overkill,
    once you step out that door....................

    If this helps her mindset before and a short time after the surgery,
    that's fine.
    What would be best is to follow her doc's instructions before and
    after, and she'll do fine.
    Best of luck.

    serebel, Jun 13, 2006
  4. Wendela

    Wendela Guest

    Thanks. She's still upset because surgeon #1 made the surgery sound
    like no big deal, and surgeon #2 (current one whom she went to because
    he did the laser at first instead) is making a big deal out of
    it...well, you do have a scar, well, you do have the eye movement.....I
    just think he doesn't know how to console the patient. As I said he was
    a researcher type and still is - that and a professor. -Wendy
    Wendela, Jun 14, 2006
  5. Wendela

    serebel Guest

    If she's still apprehensive, there's always the third opinion option.
    Nothing wrong with getting all the info to make an informed decision.
    serebel, Jun 14, 2006
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