Laser trabeculoplasty uses a very focused beam of laser light to treat the drainage angle of the eye. This procedure makes it easier for fluid to flow out of the front part of the eye, decreasing pressure in the eye. A special microscope (slit lamp) and lens (goniolens) are used to guide the laser beam to the canals (trabecular meshwork) where fluid drains from the eye.
During trabeculectomy- sometimes also called filtration surgery- a piece of tissue in the drainage angle of the eye is removed, creating an opening. The opening is partially covered with a flap of tissue from the sclera and the conjunctiva. This new opening allows fluid (aqueous humor) to drain out of the eye, bypassing the clogged drainage channels of the trabecular meshwork.