The refractive outcomes of glaucoma surgeries, particularly their effect on astigmatism, are incompletely understood.
Trabeculectomy is associated with a considerable amount of with-the-rule astigmatic change in the immediate postoperative period. This is followed by a gradual against-the-rule shift. These changes are altered with the use of mitomycin C (MMC). Non-penetrating surgery such as deep sclerectomy is also associated with a similar or smaller degree of induced astigmatism. Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery appears to be astigmatically neutral. There is no clear evidence regarding refractive outcomes of glaucoma drainage device surgery.
Induced astigmatism may account for a reduction in unaided visual acuity in the early postoperative period following a successful trabeculectomy. These changes appear to stabilise at 3 months, and it would be prudent to defer the prescription of new glasses until this time. If sequential cataract surgery is to be performed, toric intraocular lenses can be a useful option for astigmatic correction.