What is minimally invasive glaucoma surgery?
Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (also called MIGS) refers to tiny devices that can be implanted in the eye, often at the time of cataract surgery, to help lower eye pressure in glaucoma. This type of procedure causes much less scarring and has fewer complications than traditional glaucoma surgery.
What is the iStent procedure?
iStent is a type of minimally invasive glaucoma surgery. The iStent, also called the iStent Trabecular Micro-Bypass Stent, is a tiny titanium device, approximately 1mm by 0.33mm, that is implanted inside the eye to help lower eye pressure in glaucoma. The iStent is the smallest device ever approved by the FDA and is 20,000 times smaller than the lens implants used at the time of cataract surgery. The iStent is placed at the same time as cataract surgery is performed, through the same tiny incision that is made at the time of cataract surgery. There are no extra incisions, so that scarring and risks are minimal compared with traditional glaucoma surgery. The iStent cannot be seen or felt by the patient after it is implanted. It does not need to be removed at a later date.
What does the iStent do?
The iStent device lowers eye pressure. It allows fluid to flow more easily out of the eye into the natural collection channels that normally drain fluid away from the inside of the eye. The iStent is implanted in the drain of the eye, and creates a pathway that bypasses the part of the drain that is most resistant to fluid outflow.
Am I a good candidate for the iStent procedure?
The iStent is designed for patients who have mild or moderate glaucoma, with pressure that is fairly well controlled. It is currently approved for use in patients only at the time of cataract surgery. It is appropriate for open angle glaucoma (not narrow angle glaucoma), and does not lower pressure enough to treat advanced or poorly controlled glaucoma. The benefits of the iStent are its very low risk, better control of glaucoma, and minimal scarring. If pressure is well controlled, the patient is less likely to need additional drops or treatments for glaucoma.
For more detailed information on Glaucoma and how Glaucoma is diagnosed and treated please select a topic below: