The treatment of ocular hypotony after trabeculectomy with a scleral lens


Ocular hypotony after trabeculectomy may be treated medically, surgically and with a tamponade. Three cases are reported in which a scleral lens was applied to treat ocular hypotony after mitomycin C (MMC) augmented trabeculectomy.


In this retrospective case series the records of three eyes of three patients who developed ocular hypotony after they had undergone trabeculectomy augmented with MMC were evaluated. The patients were between 11 and 69 years of age and the intraocular pressure (IOP) after surgery ranged between 3 and 6 mmHg. All three patients showed a negative Seidel test; one had suspected hypotonic maculopathy and one had a collapsed anterior chamber. After unsuccessful treatment with large bandage lenses all three patients were subsequently fitted with a scleral lens. The scleral lens was fitted to fully cover and compress the bleb. Scleral lenses were worn continuously with a check-up after one night of wear and subsequent check-ups when needed. One patient continued to wear the scleral lens for a further 6.5 months on a daily wear basis.


In all three eyes the IOP was higher after wearing the scleral lens. Two patients stopped wearing the scleral lens after the IOP was stable. One patient developed a cataract; the cataract surgery was combined with a bleb revision and scleral lens wear was therefore discontinued.


The scleral lens might be a useful tool in the treatment of ocular hypotony after trabeculectomy augmented MMC surgery. The effect of the scleral lens on the ocular pressure is unpredictable. Caution is advised in vulnerable corneas due to risk factors such as hypoxia and infection. Further research is warranted to establish the safety of the procedure, the patient selection and the overall success in a larger patient group.

The entire article was published in Contactlens & Anterior Eye, volume 42 issue 1, February 2019, p 123-126. Link to the website (complete article requires a contribution).