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iStent

MIGS (Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery) is a newer pool of procedures in the world of glaucoma aimed at increasing surgical safety and offering a less invasive treatment option for patients who fall into the mild to moderate category of glaucoma. For many patients, medications and laser therapy work great at controlling eye pressure, but for some, additional, more drastic treatments may be necessary. The gap from medications and laser procedures to the next level of treatment options, like filtration and shunt surgery, is a big leap, and although these procedures offer a greater reduction in eye pressure, they also carry increased risks. MIGS are now populating that space between eye medications and laser treatments and the jump to the more advanced glaucoma procedures. MIGS uses micro devices and surgical instruments, providing a moderate reduction in eye pressure with minimal post-surgical risks.

The physicians at Minnesota Eye Consultants are proud to offer both the iStent® Trabecular Micro-Bypass device along with the CyPass Micro-Stent.

iStent® Trabecular Micro-Bypass

Technology has always played an important role in eye care. Today, almost every aspect of vision is connected to a product or procedure that wasn’t available even ten short years ago. Cataract surgery is a good example of how innovations can make a difference. Every aspect of it utilizes recently developed technology that will help us improve your vision. Today, this includes managing your mild to moderate open-angle glaucoma by implanting a tiny device to reduce your eye pressure, at the same time as removing your cataracts.

Did you Know?

  • Minnesota Eye Consultants is proud to have performed the first two iStent procedures in the state of Minnesota.
  • Dr. Thomas Samuelson, one of the remarkable glaucoma surgeons at Minnesota Eye Consultants, was the primary investigator in the iStent FDA trial and has been performing these procedures for years.

The iStent is the world’s smallest medical implant, yet it delivers big results in mild to moderate open-angle glaucoma. While this particular type of glaucoma is very common, many people are unaware of their condition, especially in the early stages, when their vision may be unaffected. In many people, open-angle glaucoma is characterized by an increase in the intraocular pressure (IOP) of the eye. This pressure is caused by the buildup of fluid within the eye, that isn’t exiting at the rate in which the fluid is entering the eye. Too much fluid raises pressure, which can cause the gradual loss of vision. And while glaucoma can move slowly, its damage is irreparable. 

The world’s tiniest medical device – the iStent – is 20,000 times smaller than the intraocular lenses (IOL) used in your cataract surgery.

The iStent works similarly to the stents used to prevent heart attacks and strokes. When blood vessels become clogged, a stent creates access to the vessel flow. While a highly innovative technology, how iStent works is elegantly simple:

  • If you have glaucoma, the eye’s natural drainage system may become clogged over time.
  • The iStent creates a permanent opening through the blockage to improve the eye’s 
natural outflow of aqueous humor (the fluid within the eye).
  • Restoring this mechanism lowers and controls the pressure within the eye.

Managing Glaucoma While Treating Your Cataracts

The iStent is delicately implanted during your cataract surgery, and shockingly, just takes a couple minutes. Once implanted in the drainage canal, the iStent will begin working to safely and effectively manage your eye pressure. Following your procedure, you may have the opportunity to reduce some of your glaucoma medications, but of course your physician will discuss whether or not this is right for you.

To watch a video of the iStent procedure with Dr. Samuelson’s commentary, click here.

CyPass Micro-Stent

Although larger in size when comparing it to the iStent, the CyPass Micro-Stent is another effective, and safe alternative to some of the more aggressive glaucoma procedures for patients battling mild to moderate open-angle glaucoma. This stent creates a new channel for aqueous humor to flow out of the anterior chamber, ultimately reducing the eye pressure. The unique design has several holes placed throughout the surface of the stent, helping to disperse the liquid flowing through it. Similar to the iStent, the CyPass device is implanted at the same time as cataract surgery is being performed.

Micro Stent

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