Trabectome Fact Sheet

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Patients who have glaucoma now have access to a new treatment option at the University of Kentucky, the only medical facility in the state to offer the procedure that works to improve natural fluid drainage from the eye. Performed with a small device called a Trabectome, the minimally invasive procedure takes about 30 minutes and is designed to decrease pressure within the eye and stabilize vision.

What is the Trabectome procedure?

Designed to improve fluid drainage from the eye and balance intraocular pressure (IOP), this minimally invasive procedure can help stabilize optic nerve health and minimize further visual field damage.

The Trabectome tool is inserted in the eye through a tiny 1.7 millimeter incision at the edge of the cornea. A small strip of trabecular meshwork is then removed. This gently unblocks the eye and lowers the pressure.

The procedure requires very little sedation and patients generally fully recover within one week.

The benefits of Trabectome over the traditional glaucoma surgery include:

  • A low complication rate
  • Rapid recovery
  • Simpler than traditional surgeries
  • Easily combined with cataract surgery

Am I a candidate?

Not all patients with glaucoma are suitable for Trabectome surgery. Typically, this procedure is more effective in the early to moderate stages of glaucoma. Most patients who undergo this surgery are age 40 and older, however this can be performed at any age, including pediatric patients.

Patients undergoing cataract surgery can also chose to have the Trabectome procedure at the same time as their cataract surgery, adding about 10-15 minutes total onto the procedure.

Patients who have had major glaucoma surgery are not eligible for this specific procedure.

Risks and side effects

There are no major risks for this surgery.

General risks are similar to other eye surgeries:

  • Possible additional bleeding inside the eye with delay in vision return.
  • A very small risk of infection or loss of vision.

What happens during the procedure?

The Trabectome procedure is a three-step process that takes approximately 30 minutes.

  1. Incision – The Trabectome handpiece tip is inserted through a small incision across the chamber of the affected eye.
  2. Electrosurgical Pulse – The tip surgically removes a small strip of the diseased tissue with an electrosurgical pulse.
  3. Washout – A continual wash with fluid regulates the temperature and removes tissue debris.


Trabectome is an outpatient procedure, meaning the patient is able to return home when the surgery is complete. The patient's eyes will be patched for a few hours after surgery. Normal daily activities can be performed 24 hours following surgery.   

The Trabectome procedure at UK HealthCare

Dr Sunil Deokule, assistant professor of ophthalmology and Dr Sheila Sanders, associate professor of ophthalmology in the UK College of Medicine Department of Ophthalmology an Visual Sciences are the only ophthalmologists in Kentucky performing this procedure.

For more information or to make an appointment, call toll free 1-800-333-8874.

Other services 

UK HealthCare Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences provides medical and surgical services for ocular diseases and eye disorders. We offer:

  • Ophthalmic consultations
  • Computerized visual field testing
  • Diagnostic electrophysiology testing (electroretinography, visual-evoked potentials)
  • Ultrasonography
  • Photography
  • Fluorescein angiography

Subspecialties include:

  • Retinal and vitreous problems
  • Corneal and external disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Pediatric ophthalmology
  • Ophthalmic pathology services
  • Refractive surgery (i.e. LASIK, LASEK, etc.)

For more information please visit Trabectome or visit UK HealthCare Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences. 

Other Locations 

We also provide subspecialty care as well as routine eye exams at these locations:

UK HealthCare Eye Care Richmond
920 Barnes Mill Rd. Ste D
Richmond KY 40475
To make an appointment, call 859-624-EYES (3937).

Central Baptist Eye Clinic
1760 Nicholasville Rd, Suite 203
Lexington KY 40503
To make an appointment, call 859-275-4001.

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Page last updated: 8/10/2015 2:27:08 PM