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iStent : Size does matter

By Thomas Harvey, MD

The iStent Trabecular Micro-Bypass device has recently been released for the treatment of glaucoma. The iStent is the smallest FDA-approved medical device in existence! Smaller than the head of a pin, it is placed in the eye at the time of cataract surgery to help reduce eye pressure by enhancing fluid exit.

istent size comparison

Click on image to enlarge

I was privileged to perform the region’s first iStent procedures in April of this year. Much like our patients’ results, the iStent has been shown in clinical studies to reduce eye pressure by 2 to 3 points. This has allowed a decrease or discontinuation of eye drop medications in many patients.

The iStent device is part of a new emphasis on less invasive glaucoma management options. Other options include: two newer glaucoma lasers and other stent-type devices that are not yet available. A combination of these therapies can be very effective in lowering eye pressure without the side effects of traditional scalpel glaucoma surgery.


Click on graphic to enlarge. iStent is placed in the trabecular meshwork (natural drain near the outer iris). Outflow through the iStent enhances fluid exit to help control eye pressure


“It is my belief that treating glaucoma with minimally invasive surgical and laser options will save patients from eye drop side effects and save them money in the long run. It is what I would want for my own eyes!”

More information on the iStent is available at See for more resources.

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