For patients who have both poorly controlled glaucoma and cataracts, a combined surgery may be suggested. If the cataract is visually significant it is usually desirable to perform the cataract surgery first if the glaucoma is not completely uncontrolled. Not only can removal of the cataract occasionally result in a modest lowering of the eye pressure in itself, having this done first can allow for better long-term success of a subsequent glaucoma surgery.
For patients who have controlled glaucoma and cataracts, cataract surgery with an IOL implant may be the best option. In most cases, these patients will continue with their glaucoma medications after cataract surgery.
Q: What is the iStent?
A: The iStent is used in conjunction with cataract surgery. It is the smallest FDA approved medical device, measuring 20,000 times smaller than the IOL.
Q: How does it work?
A: The iStent is implanted into the trabecular meshwork during cataract surgery. The device allows fluid in the eye to flow from the anterior chamber into the Schlemm’s canal. By increasing the outflow of fluid, the eye pressure can be lowered.
Q: What are the indications?
A: Individuals with mild to moderate open angle glaucoma who could benefit from cataract surgery.
Q: Is the iStent safe?
A: The overall risks of performing cataract surgery with the iStent are comparable to performing cataract surgery alone.
Q: Does iStent reduce dependency on topical eye drops?
A: In some cases, yes! That is determined by your provider on a case-by-case basis depending upon pressure readings.