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.
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.