Dr. Stewart Shofner is one of the first surgeons in the United States to successfully treat glaucoma by performing eye surgery using the iStent, the smallest medical device ever approved by the FDA. Once Dr. Shofner places this device in a glaucoma patient's eye, their need for expensive drops to control glaucoma is either reduced significantly or possibly eliminated. In a clinical study reported by Glaukos, over 68% of glaucoma patients who received the iStent remained medication free at 12 months.
How The iStent Works
Developed by Glaukos Corp., the iStent Trabecular Micro-Bypass (aka iStent) is made of surgical-grade titanium and is safely implanted in the internal eye area to re-establish a normal flow of fluids within the eye. Stents used in the medical industry are tubes inserted into the human body to improve blood flow or provide easy access for medications or even surgery. The iStent creates a new opening, which eliminates any blockage that hinders the eye's natural fluid outflow. By improving the outflow of fluid from the patient's eye, the pressure in the eye is reduced. The iStent is a permanent way to reduce or even eliminate a glaucoma patient's reliance on medication.Because it is so tiny, the patient cannot feel it and does not even know it is in their eye. However, it is still working to relieve glaucoma even though it cannot be seen or felt. The iStent is used for patients who have both cataracts and glaucoma. However, Glaukos Corp. is working to obtain FDA approval for the use in most glaucoma patients, even if they do not have cataracts.
Glaucoma is a condition where the eye's natural drainage system becomes clogged and pressure builds up dangerously in the eye. It is a complicated disease in which damage to the optic nerve leads to progressive, irreversible vision loss. The Eye Resource section offers more information to assist those experiencing vision problems, the causes and types of Glaucoma along with Cataracts.