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The iStent: Technology for Glaucoma

Here at Cascadia Eye, you know our doctors are always looking for the newest and best technologies available for every aspect of your vision. From custom, bladeless iLASIK to advanced testing equipment and more, this forms one of the three cornerstones of our commitment (providing comprehensive service, care that is personal and local, and investing in proven technologies).

Which is why we’re excited to tell you about the iStent (full name: iStent Trabecular Micro-Bypass), a new piece of technology that our surgeons can add to cataract surgery for patients who also have glaucoma. Our surgeons have been using this tiny device for about a year now, and its results are amazing.

How the iStent Works

If you’ve heard of the stent used in surgeries to prevent heart attacks and strokes, the iStent works much the same for eye pressure. A stent helps with vessel flow when blood vessels get clogged, and the iStent does the same for the eye’s drainage system when a patient has glaucoma. As we explain on our glaucoma page, if the eye is unable to drain properly, pressure within the eye mounts.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The iStent is placed in the area of blockage, creating a permanent opening that keeps the outflow going, and therefore lowering the eye pressure. If you and your eye surgeon agree that the iStent is right for you, it can be easily placed during cataract surgery, where it will begin working right away.

Depending on the severity of glaucoma and other individual factors, the iStent may not fix the pressure problem entirely or remove the need for glaucoma medications. But it does safely relieve pressure in a permanent way, regardless of the extent.iStent

Also interesting to note: according to Glaukos, the makers of the iStent, it is also “the smallest medical device ever approved by the FDA” – 20,000 times smaller than the (already tiny) intra-ocular lens used in cataract surgery. You can read more details about this amazing micro-device on the Glaukos website.

Contact Cascadia Eye

If you would like to learn more about the iStent, or if you would like to schedule an appointment at Cascadia Eye, please contact us today. We are happy to answer any questions you might have!

In addition, join us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ to ask your questions about eyes, exams, and our practice. We’d love to hear from you – and there might be a blog to address your questions in the future.

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