Tube-Shunt Surgery

This surgery puts a small, soft tube and drainage device into your eye. It helps excess fluid drain out of your eye. It's most commonly used to prevent harmful pressure buildup in people who have glaucoma.


To begin, a medicine numbs and relaxes you. You may be put to sleep. Your eyelids are held open to keep you from blinking.

Inserting the shunt

In most cases, the shunt is placed on the top part of your eye, behind your upper eyelid. First, the surgeon makes a small incision in the conjunctiva. That's the eye's thin outer layer. The drainage device is placed under the conjunctiva and attached with sutures. Finally, the drainage tube is inserted through the eye wall and into the eye's front chamber. Graft material is placed over the tube to help secure it. Extra fluid will flow through the tube and into the drainage device. From there, the extra fluid is absorbed by your eye's blood vessels.

End of procedure

When the surgery is done, you're watched in a recovery room. Your doctor will let you know when you can go home. You'll have followup appointments as your eye heals. Follow your doctor's instructions for a safe recovery.