AIMS--To assess the intraocular pressure (IOP) lowering mechanism of deep sclerectomy with collagen implant (DSCI), a non-penetrating glaucoma surgery. METHODS--Nine eyes of nine patients with medically uncontrolled open angle glaucoma underwent DSCI. Ultrasound biomicroscopy (UBM) of the sclerectomy site was performed 1 month after surgery. The following factors were assessed: length and height of collagen implant, and thickness of the residual trabeculocorneal membrane. RESULTS--Postoperative IOP decreased significantly in all nine eyes from a preoperative mean value of 25.8 (SD 4.8) mm Hg to a postoperative (1 month) mean value of 11.3 (6.3) mm Hg (p = 0.001). In all nine eyes, UBM at 1 month after surgery showed a subconjunctival filtration through the thin trabeculocorneal membrane and through the scleral flap around the collagen implant. In four cases, a hypoechoic area in the suprachoroidal space was observed and might represent ciliary body detachment or be due to suprachoroidal drainage of aqueous humour through the thin deep scleral wall. At 1 month after surgery the mean trabeculocorneal membrane thickness was 110.1 (16.8) microns, and the mean length and height of the collagen implant were 2.3 (0.1) mm and 1.1 (0.1) mm respectively. CONCLUSION--DSCI lowered IOP by allowing aqueous filtration through a thin trabeculocorneal membrane to the subconjunctival space and, eventually, to the suprachoroidal space.