Prior to the introduction of the iStent, when a patient with glaucoma needed intraocular pressure lowering surgery, the only options available were major invasive surgeries. These surgical procedures, though often excellent at lowering pressures, are also associated with a high rate of complications (both in the few months after surgery and later on). Ophthalmologists have desired to have other surgical options to assist in controlling intraocular pressures in a safer fashion with the goal of controlling pressure using “micro-invasive glaucoma surgeries” (MIGS). The first (and only at this time) FDA approved device of its kind is a trabecular micro-bypass shunt named the iStent produced by Glaukos, Inc. Results from surgical studies have been excellent to date, and the iStent has been shown to reduce both intraocular pressure AND the number of glaucoma medicines the patient is taking following the surgery. The surgeon’s here at Eye Care Professionals of Reno specialize in implanting these devices and are excited to bring this service to the community of Reno. Dr. Mills was the first surgeon to implant the iStent in Reno has extensive experience implanting the device. He would be happy to discuss this option with you at the time of your appointment.
Advantages to the “micro-invasive glaucoma surgery” and the iStent:
- Minimal invasiveness and minimally traumatic
It is performed at the time of cataract surgery, requiring no additional incisions other than those needed for cataract surgery itself.
- Directly improves the flow of fluid in the eye in the way it was originally intended (i.e. it improves physiologic outflow).
The iStent accomplishes this by “bypassing” the aspect of the drainage system responsible for most glaucoma patient’s high pressures (the trabecular meshwork).
- Proven safety
The risks associated with performing cataract surgery with the iStent are essentially equal to those of performing cataract surgery alone.
Traditional glaucoma surgeries (trabeculectomy and tube shunts) carry a far higher risk
- Rapid recovery time
Patient’s recovery time is quite rapid which allows a return to normal activities much more rapidly than with other forms of glaucoma surgery.
- Proven benefit
Most patient’s experience a reduction in intraocular pressure and/or a reduction in the medications they are taking for glaucoma*
*Due to the progressive nature of glaucoma, patient’s who undergo the implantation of an iStent still may require additional medications and or surgical interventions to control intraocular pressures in the future (despite the proven safety/efficacy of the iStent).