What is iStent?
iStent is a treatment for glaucoma provided by eye specialists, or ophthalmologists. The iStent is a microscopic implant that allows the drainage of channels in the eye to reduce eye pressure in patients with glaucoma.
Having the iStent inserted can reduce the need to use glaucoma eye drops for patients, however, iStent cannot reverse the damage already caused by glaucoma. It will also not bring back any vision that has already been lost.
Typically, iStent can be performed in conjunction with cataract surgery. The iStent implant is made of metal, and it is made in a way so that it won't cause allergic reactions, or be rejected by the body.
What is minimally-invasive glaucoma treatment (MIGS)?
Minimally-invasive glaucoma treatment (MIGS) is the latest in glaucoma treatment, which involves making a small incision to implant a microscopic device, such as the iStent or the latest iStent inject in order to reduce eye pressure.
What does the procedure involve?
A mini-incision is made in the front of the eye and a surgical instrument implants the stent into the drainage system. A second stent is implanted into a different area of tissue before the instrument is removed from the eye. The procedure is very quick and can only take a matter of minutes.
Who is suitable for the procedure?
The iStent procedure is suitable for patients with mild to moderate glaucoma and who do not require invasive, complex surgery. The iStent inject is a combined procedure and is offered to patients who are also undergoing cataract surgery.
What are the risks of the procedure?
As this is a minimally-invasive procedure, the risks of complications are low. It is normal to expect a small bleed in the eye, which resolves by itself within a week. In rare cases, the eye pressure can rise but this can be managed with eye drops post-surgery.