Wednesday, November 14, 2012

iStent: A New Glaucoma Surgery

Dr. White spent some of his time at AAO looking at new technologies for the care of Glaucoma. He has been saying for some time that multiple forces in medicine and in the economics of medicine are pushing toward Glaucoma becoming a surgical disease. Here is one of the new technologies he found:

"Glaucoma is a progressive disease that causes damage to the optic nerve.  At this time the only thing we can do is lower the eye pressure in order to stop any further damage. The vast majority of American Glaucoma patients control their pressure through the use of eyedrops. Part of the problem with this is remembering to take your eyedrops, and it's important to take your eyedrops properly. A new twist on medical care is having difficulty either paying for your medication, or getting your insurance to pay for the medication your doctor thinks is the right one for you.

Traditional glaucoma surgery is very effective, but there are a number of complications that can occur after even successful surgery. Ophthalmologists who care for Glaucoma have been on the lookout for new, better, safer Glaucoma surgeries for many years. The Glaukos company has invented a surgery using a micro-drain called the iStent for use as part of cataract surgery.

Briefly, the iStent is inserted in the natural drainage system of the eye to increase the outflow of the natural fluid in the eye and lower the eye pressure. The procedure looks very cool! I'm really looking forward to getting the special training so that I can add this to my standard surgeries. I think it will be great to not only improve people's vision with cataract surgery but also to be able to reduce their dependence on medications."

We will keep you up to date on the progress of the iStent at SkyVision.


  1. This was such a interesting post! I never heard about this surgery but it sounds like it really would work. My aunt is looking into Ophthalmology in San Diego for her glaucoma condition. Thank you for sharing this with us!

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