What is the iStent?
Recent advances in the field of glaucoma research have now made it possible to lower intraocular pressure (IOP) through minimally invasive techniques. inVision Ophthalmology Tuscaloosa is pleased to offer the innovative iStent device, which is implanted during minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS). The iStent is the smallest medical implant approved by the FDA, measuring 20,000 times smaller than an intraocular lens implanted into your eye during cataract surgery. The device works by creating a drainage channel so aqueous fluid can more easily flow out of the eye, which helps decrease a patient's intraocular pressure. Schedule an appointment at our office in Tuscaloosa, AL to see if you would be a good candidate for the iStent or another MIGS procedure.
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What are the benefits of the iStent?
Many glaucoma patients trust inVision Ophthalmology Tuscaloosa to provide them with the iStent because we are leaders in the latest glaucoma procedures. Because the iStent is so small, most patients report that they do not feel any difference after the device is implanted. Additionally, the iStent has been shown to be an effective long-term treatment option. The iStent offers a number of potential benefits for glaucoma patients, including:
- A decrease in intraocular pressure
- A reduction in the number of glaucoma medications needed
- Minimally invasive process with a quick recovery time
- Low risk of complications
Am I a Candidate for iStent?
Glaucoma is a complicated condition that can often be scary. However, it does not always require surgery. iStent can be incredibly helpful for anyone recently diagnosed with glaucoma who is hoping to treat their condition without the need for surgery. By having an iStent device implanted during MIGS, patients are able to avoid lengthy recovery times and pain. We generally recommend this treatment for patients who are in the early stages of glaucoma, exhibit little to no field loss, and have a relatively stable IOP.
How the iStent Procedure Works
Surgery with the iStent implant is typically well-suited for patients who have both open-angle glaucoma and cataracts since the device is often implanted during cataract surgery. It is often performed on patients who have not been able to successfully manage glaucoma with eye drops or other medications. A detailed eye exam will be performed in Tuscaloosa, AL to determine whether you are a good candidate. Prior to performing the iStent procedure, your eyes will be numbed and you may be provided with a light sedative. Using the same tiny incision made during cataract surgery, your ophthalmologist will implant the iStent into the Schlemm's canal to create an opening that allows aqueous fluid to flow out of the eye and lower intraocular pressure. In general, the recovery after iStent surgery is quick. We will provide you with home care guidelines and special eye drops to use for the next few weeks following your procedure.
Is getting the iStent painful?
No, it isn't. Before the outpatient procedure, your doctor will numb your eyes with anesthetic drops and administer a mild sedative to ensure your comfort.
How long does it take to have an iStent placed?
Having an iStent takes about 20 minutes per eye.
Is the iStent safe?
Yes, the iStent is safe and effective. The iStent was approved by the FDA in 2012 to relieve intraocular pressure in glaucoma patients.
Is the iStent effective?
Yes, it is. Several clinical studies recorded that 68% of glaucoma patients treated with an iStent didn't require medication at the one-year mark.
What materials is the iStent made out of?
The iStent is made from medical-grade titanium and coated with heparin.
Take Control of Glaucoma
The specialists at inVision Ophthalmology Tuscaloosa are committed to helping patients manage their glaucoma and preserve their vision through some of the top minimally invasive methods. After receiving the iStent, many of our Tuscaloosa, AL patients have been able to decrease their reliance on glaucoma medications and eye drops. If you would like to learn more about our MIGS procedures, we encourage you to schedule a consultation in Tuscaloosa, AL.