The iStent implant is the smallest FDA approved medical device and often recommended for patients with mild to moderate open-angle glaucoma and are planning to undergo cataract surgery.
The eyes use a complex fluid outflow system to keep the eyes’ surface healthy and balanced. At the center of the system is a drainage network system called the Trabecular Meshwork to allow fluid to exit the eye naturally and into the bloodstream via the Schlemm’s Canal. Patients with open-angle glaucoma can block the Trabecular Meshwork and retain fluid in the eye rather than draining properly. As the fluid backs up into the eye, this increases ocular pressure. High intraocular pressure (IOP) can lead to blindness by damaging the optic nerve, so controlling the eye pressure is essential.
Eye drops or medication are often used to reduce intraocular pressure successfully. The iStent is installed during cataract surgery without needing additional anesthetic or incisions. Once the cataracts are removed and the new lens is installed, the iStent is inserted through the Trabecular Meshwork and into the Schlemm’s Canal. This creates a permanent opening to drain fluid and improve intraocular pressure.
Glaucoma medications may be reduced or discontinued after the iStent is implanted based on the discretion of your eye doctor and/or physician.
The cornea of the eye also contains collagen. It is made up of tiny collagen fibers that lie in an intertwined fashion, ensuring that the cornea is kept clear.