iStent® Trabecular Micro-Bypass

What is iStent?

Technology has always played an important role in eye care. Today, almost every aspect of vision is connected to a product or procedure that wasn’t available even ten short years ago. Today, mild-to-moderate open-angle glaucoma can be treated as an additional step in cataract surgery. This is important because once diagnosed, most patients usually spend the rest of their lives putting one, two or even three different kinds of drops in every day. Unfortunately, all of these drops can be inconvenient to take, as well as very expensive. The iStent Trabecular Micro-Bypass Stent is designed to reduce eye pressure and can be administered at the same time as cataract surgery.

Who is a candidate for iStent?

While mild-to-moderate open-angle glaucoma is very common, many people are unaware of their condition, especially early on when vision may be unaffected. Open-angle glaucoma in many people is identified by an increase in the intraocular pressure (IOP) of the eye. Too much fluid buildup in the eye increases pressure, which can cause the gradual loss of vision. And while glaucoma moves slowly, its damage is irreparable. If you have glaucoma and are on drops, you may be a candidate for iStent. Consult Citrus Valley Eyecare doctors.

How does iStent work?

The world’s tiniest medical device—iStent—is 20,000 times smaller than the intraocular lenses (IOL) used in cataract surgery. But the size of iStent is only part of its story. By increasing the eye’s ability to drain fluid, this technology is designed to reduce the pressure in your eye.

iStent works like the stents used to prevent heart attacks and strokes. When blood vessels get clogged, a stent creates access to the vessel flow. While a highly innovative technology, how iStent works is elegantly simple. If you have glaucoma, over time the eye’s natural drainage system becomes clogged. iStent creates a permanent opening through the blockage to improve the eye’s natural outflow. Restoring this mechanism lowers and controls pressure within the eye.

When is iStent implanted?

iStent is implanted during cataract surgery. Once implanted, iStent will begin working to safely and effectively manage pressure. Some patients who receive iStent may experience a reduction in glaucoma medications, but this will be at the discretion of your physician.

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