For the millions of people living with cataracts and glaucoma, an innovative new procedure performed by Mercy ophthalmologist, Raj Goyal, MD, could change how they view the world.
What is glaucoma?
Open angle glaucoma is a permanent condition caused by a build-up of fluid in the eye. Excess fluid leads to increased pressure in the eye, and that can harm the optic nerve and lead to gradual vision loss. There is no cure for open angle glaucoma, but treatments can help reduce intra-eye pressure and improve vision. Current treatment options range from drops to laser procedure and surgery.
But each of these traditional treatment options has its drawbacks: Eye drops require a lifelong commitment and can interfere with other medications; traditional glaucoma surgery is very involved and carries the risk of significant complications, such as problems with the cornea, and infection or inflammation inside the eye.
What is iStent?
iStent is a tiny stent that creates a permanent tunnel for fluid drainage. It helps to relieve pressure in the eye and treat glaucoma-related vision loss. The stent is implanted during cataract surgery. Many people with glaucoma also suffer from cataracts. Because cataract surgery is a stitch-less procedure, the stent is implanted without any cuts or incisions.
The iStent® measures approximately 1 millimeter in length and is the smallest medical device ever implanted into the human body. Dr. Goyal is currently the only physician in Illinois performing this breakthrough procedure.
How is iStent different?
The new procedure offers people with mild-to-moderate glaucoma and cataracts an advantage over traditional surgery. The procedure is very fast, adding only about two minutes to the time it takes to repair cataracts. Once implanted, iStent begins working immediately to provide continuous management of pressure. In most people, it reduces or eliminates the need for glaucoma drugs. Recovery is the same as with regular cataract surgery, requiring drops for about a month.
"This is a very quick procedure with very quick results and very few risks,” said Dr. Goyal. “We don't use an injection to numb the eye as we do in traditional glaucoma surgery, where we have to inject around the eye and numb everything. This procedure gives us a way to control glaucoma without many of the undesired effects of traditional treatment options."
Who can benefit from iStent?
Currently, iStent is only available to people being treated for both cataracts and glaucoma. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Raj Goyal, call 773.873.0052.
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