Approximately 10% of patients who undergo cataract surgery have a diagnosis of mild to moderate glaucoma. In the past, there were no great options for simultaneous surgical treatment of cataracts and glaucoma, especially for those patients whose pressure was controlled with eye drops. However, that has changed recently thanks to the development of a new device that can be safely implanted in just a few minutes immediately following cataract surgery.
The device is called the iStent, which is a small tube-like structure that was developed using the same type of stent technology used for opening clogged arteries in the heart and elsewhere. Rather than opening an artery however, we use this device to open the fluid drainage system of the eye creating a lasting intraocular pressure lowering effect. The iStent was the first MIGS device approved by the FDA and has already been implanted in over 200,000 patients worldwide, many of whom are able to stop taking one or more pressure lowering eye drops after surgery. While cataract surgery alone has been shown to lower pressure in glaucoma patients, the iStent has an added advantage in a significant number of people. Given its small size, ease of implantation, low risk and effectiveness, we recommend this procedure for all our patients who qualify.
For more information about the effectiveness of this device, please visit the following websites: