Outcomes: trabeculectomy bleb needle revision with 5-fluorouracil

Linda Zheng*, Hemamalini Arvind, David Wechsler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To evaluate outcomes of trabeculectomy bleb needle revision with 5-fluorouracil augmentation performed in the operating theater. 

Methods: Retrospective study of all patients undergoing trabeculectomy bleb needle revisions in the operating theater performed by a single surgeon in a metropolitan hospital in Australia. A total of 51 needle revisions were performed on 33 eyes over a mean followup time of 1.81±1.56 years. 

Results: A total of 29% achieved intraocular pressure (IOP) ≤20mm Hg off all glaucoma medications, and an additional 39% achieved qualified success with the addition of glaucoma medications, giving overall success of 68%. Analyzing success rate for target IOP≤16mm Hg, 24% achieved target off all glaucoma medications, 35% achieved qualified success with the addition of glaucoma medications, giving an overall success rate of 59%. There was a statistically significant improvement in IOP, as compared with preoperative levels, at all timepoints postoperatively (< 0.05). However, number of glaucoma medications remained unchanged (> 0.05) contributing to the high percentage of qualified successes. Visual acuity remained unchanged and there were no major postoperative complications. The Kaplan-Meier survival shows a survival rate of 60% with IOP≤20mm Hg and 40% for IOP≤16mm Hg at 5 years. 

Conclusions: Trabeculectomy needle revision is a useful option for the management of elevated IOP in the presence of a failed or failing trabeculectomy bleb. However, as with trabeculectomy, there tends to be a failure rate over time. This often leads to reinstitution of glaucoma medications and/or further needle revisions to maintain IOPs at target level. The procedure itself is minimally invasive with an acceptable safety profile.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-323
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Glaucoma
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • trabeculectomy
  • bleb
  • needle revision
  • needling
  • 5- fluorouracil


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