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Glaucoma Surgery


Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve - the part of the eye that carries the images we see to the brain.  The optic nerve is made up of many nerve fibers like an electric cable containing numerous wires.  When damage to the optic nerve fibers occurs, blind spots develop.  These blind spots usually go undetected until the optic nerve is significantly damaged.  If the optic nerve is damaged or destroyed, blindness can result.   Early detection is key and regular eye exams are recommended. 
 
Glaucoma is usually controlled with eye drops taken daily which can preserve your vision, but may also produce side effects.  Laser treatment may also be an option.  When medication and laser treatment are not the answer, surgery may be required. In open-angle glaucoma, the fluid that normally flows in and out of the eye has difficulty leaving through the eye’s sponge-like drainage system.  When this occurs, pressure within the eye builds up and may damage the optic nerve and lead to vision loss.  Sometimes surgery is required to relieve the pressure.  Your doctor will know best how to diagnose and approach treatment.
 
Many individuals, typically over the age of 60, are diagnosed with cataracts; the clouding of the lens in the eye. Trauma to the eye or certain medications may lead to glaucoma or cataracts. It is important to be well informed of the possible side effects of medications. Although some patients have both cataracts and glaucoma, having glaucoma does not necessarily mean that you will get cataracts and having cataracts does not necessarily mean that you will get glaucoma.
 
Treating cataracts and glaucoma
If you have both cataracts and glaucoma, ask us  about combined modern surgical techniques that can reverse the effects of cataracts while reducing high eye pressure, the number one risk factor for loss of eyesight caused by glaucoma. While there is no cure for glaucoma, surgical options combined with proper medical treatment and routine eye exams may reduce the risk of vision loss.
If you have glaucoma and cataracts, iStent is designed to improve your eye’s natural fluid outflow to safely lower eye pressure. Proven safe and effective, the iStent Trabecular Micro-Bypass is a surgical therapy that:
  • Is safely implanted during cataract surgery                                         
  • Spares important eye tissue that is often damaged by traditional surgeries
  • Does not limit treatment options that could help maintain your vision in the future
iStent is the smallest medical device ever approved by the FDA and is placed in your eye during cataract surgery. It is so small, you won’t be able to see or feel it after the procedure is over.
Controlling eye pressure is extremely important to reduce the risk for vision loss due to glaucoma. If you forget to take your eye drops or ‘skip a dose’, this can cause large changes in your eye pressure. Large changes in eye pressure can increases the risk for vision loss.
In a U.S. clinical study, 68% of glaucoma patients who received iStent remained medication free at 12 months while sustaining a target IOP of ≤ 21 mm Hg vs. only 50% of patients who underwent cataract surgery alone.
 
If you have both glaucoma and cataracts, ask us if iStent is right for you.
 

 

 






August 2013 Worlds Smallest Medical Device to Reduce Eye Pressure
Worlds Smallest Medical Device to Reduce Eye Pressure

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