In the field of glaucoma care, we are always looking for ways to improve the safety of our surgeries and make the recovery period as comfortable as possible for our patients. The iStent trabecular micro-bypass device was approved by the FDA at the end of 2012 as a way to treat glaucoma in a minimally invasive way. The device is inserted into the trabecular meshwork, the eye’s natural drainage pathway, and helps to increase the outflow of fluid from the eye in order to keep the pressure low.
The iStent can only be implanted during cataract surgery, and the device is so small that patients won’t be able to see or feel it inside their eye. This represents a beneficial advancement in glaucoma surgery, as the recovery time is normally no different than that of cataract surgery alone and the eye pressure can sometimes be lowered enough to allow the patient to discontinue one or more of their glaucoma drops. The iStent is only approved for mild to moderate cases of glaucoma, so ask your doctor if this minimally invasive glaucoma surgery is right for you.
Author: Dr. Michael Koval, Ophthalmologist