iStent is a small medical implant that is placed in the eye to treat open-angle glaucoma and cataracts. The iStent device is a titanium tube less than one millimeter long which helps to relieve pressure within the eye due to glaucoma.
iStent is a small tube which is inserted through a small incision in the cornea. Often, your ophthalmologist will place iStent during cataract surgery. Once in place, the iStent creates an opening between the Schlemm’s canal and the anterior chamber of the eye. This allows fluid to bypass the damaged drainage system of the eye in patients with glaucoma, reducing intraocular pressure.
iStent is often used in combination with another glaucoma treatment, such as prescription eyedrops. The treatment is safe and highly effective for many patients in reducing intraocular pressure and preventing vision loss. For many patients, iStent also reduces the need for another, potentially riskier surgery in the future.
iStent is a good option for many patients who are newly diagnosed with glaucoma or who have been undergoing treatment for the condition for some time. It is typically recommended for patients who require cataract surgery as well, as the surgery presents a unique opportunity to place the iStent and relieve pressure in the eye. If you are a good candidate for iStent, your ophthalmologist will likely recommend the device during an appointment regarding your glaucoma or cataract treatment.
Immediately after cataract surgery or iStent placement, you will likely feel groggy from anesthesia and will be sensitive to light. Dark sunglasses should be worn to protect the eyes after the procedure. Protective shields are also placed over the eye, which can be removed within several hours after surgery. The shield should be placed back on the eye while sleeping for several days. Your vision will likely be cloudy or distorted after surgery, with some redness in the eyes for several days. A scratchy sensation or dry eyes is also normal in the first several days after the surgery.