Waste generated during glaucoma surgery: A comparison of two global facilities

Sathvik Namburar, Manju Pillai, George Varghese, Cassandra Thiel, Alan L. Robin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: We measured waste from glaucoma surgeries at an eye care facility in Southern India and compared these results to a community hospital in the United States. Methods: The waste produced in the glaucoma operating room at Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai, India from June 22 to July 15, 2015 was weighed and compared to the waste produced in the glaucoma surgical clinic in a Baltimore-area community hospital from one day of surgeries in August 2015. Results: The average waste produced per trabeculectomy at Aravind was 0.5 ± 0.2 kg, compared to an average of 1.4 ± 0.4 kg per trabeculectomy (p < 0.05) at the Baltimore-area hospital. Waste from device surgeries and trabeculectomy with phacoemulsification was also quantified at Aravind, with averages of 0.4 ± 0.2 kg and 0.7 ± 0.2 kg respectively. Conclusions and importance: The amount of waste per trabeculectomy at the Aravind Eye Hospital was significantly lower than the waste per trabeculectomy in the Baltimore-area hospital, even though the used and the apparent complication rates between Aravind and American eye hospital are comparable. Given efforts to decrease the environmental impact of health care, it is necessary to examine the waste produced from surgeries to determine if policy and legal changes in the United States could decrease surgical waste while not affecting the surgical complication rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-90
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Ophthalmology Case Reports
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Efficiency
  • Environmental impact
  • Glaucoma
  • Surgical waste
  • Trabeculectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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