The istent device is one of the smallest medical devices ever designed and works to reduce intraocular pressure in patients diagnosed with mild to moderate open-angle glaucoma.
Glaucoma is an eye disease that affects over 60 million people around the world. The eyes use a natural drainage system that allows fluid to exit, keeping them healthy and balanced. The drainage system is composed of a trabecular meshwork. When individuals have open-angle glaucoma, this trabecular meshwork forms a blockage that prevents the eye from draining the eye’s fluid. When the eye cannot drain, fluid builds up and thus increases the intraocular pressure in the eye.
Fortunately for patients suffering from open-angle glaucoma, the FDA approved a stent device for treatment of glaucoma.
The surgeon will examine a patient’s eyes to determine if they are healthy before considering whether or not the patient is a good candidate for istents. iStents for glaucoma treatment are not currently approved for children or other individuals suffering from angle closure glaucoma, but they are a viable option for many glaucoma patients.
iStents are very small tubes, approximately 1-millimeter-long, that are inserted into the eye. After applying a topical anesthetic to numb the eye, your ophthalmologist surgically places the stent into the eye through a small incision at the time of surgery. It is placed through a clean cornea into the filtering meshwork. The stent then acts as a drainage system between the anterior chamber of the eye and Schlemm’s canal and permits the eye to drain fluid, thus reducing intraocular pressure.
Stents are permanent openings that do not need to be changed. While many patients who receive stent implants still require glaucoma medications, their need for them is largely reduced. The implant surgery is an outpatient procedure, requiring follow-up with your ophthalmologist the day after.
Most people can return to normal activities immediately, with the exception of strenuous activities that may cause the eye to strain. Your doctor will more than likely prescribe an antibiotic steroid and anti-inflammatory medication to help fight infection and promote healing.
If you believe an eye stent may help your glaucoma symptoms, speak with one of our eye care specialists today. Make an appointment at one of our eight convenient locations.
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