Have you been recently diagnosed with cataracts and glaucoma? You may be discussing possible treatments with your doctor and researching your options. If you’re not familiar with glaucoma, the condition is commonly associated with increased pressure in the eye due to an imbalance in production and outflow of ocular fluid. Over time, this increased pressure can damage the optic nerve and impact vision. Many people do not realize they have glaucoma until they’ve already experienced permanent vision loss. When it comes to managing increased eye pressure associated with glaucoma, there are safe and effective treatment options, including prescription eye drops or laser treatments. More recently, micro-invasive surgical options have become available for patients who are interested in effective management without having to rely solely on the continuous use of prescription medication. These have become the preferred approach to glaucoma management for many eye care professionals and their patients with mild-to-moderate open-angle glaucoma. It can be challenging for you or someone you know to live with glaucoma, as the thought of potentially losing vision can be scary. However, there are available treatment options including iStent inject® W, which is performed during cataract surgery. Keep reading to learn what people living with glaucoma can expect before, during, and after their iStent inject® W procedure, as well as what results you can expect.
What is the iStent inject® W?
Before any medical procedure, you’ll probably want to know everything you can to be as prepared as possible. To start, it’s important to learn the basics about the iStent inject® W. The iStent inject® W is a micro-invasive procedure that is designed to effectively lower eye pressure in those with mild-to-moderate primary open-angle glaucoma. The iStent inject® W is FDA-approved and one of the smallest medical implants known to be implanted in the human body. It includes two surgical-grade titanium stents that are preloaded in a single-use sterile injector. The specially designed injector helps your eye surgeon maneuver the implant for accurate, micro-targeted placement. You won’t see or feel the stents after they are inserted, but they are designed to effectively manage your eye pressure.
What to Expect With an iStent inject® W Procedure
Now that you know what the iStent inject® W is, you can learn a bit more about what you can expect from the procedure itself, including how to prepare for it, how the procedure experience will go, and what your recovery may entail.
Before iStent inject® W
Before surgery, your eye surgeon will review all of the medications you are currently taking. Be sure to bring a list of your current medications to your pre-operative appointment and be prepared to answer a few questions regarding your medical history. Prior to receiving the iStent inject® W, you should continue to use any prescribed eye drops until your procedure, unless otherwise directed by your eye care professional. The iStent inject® W procedure is performed during cataract surgery. Since cataract surgery requires at least two weeks between each eye procedure, your iStent inject® W procedures will be scheduled accordingly. To prepare for cataract surgery, it’s likely that you will be told not to eat or drink anything for approximately 12 hours before the appointment. It’s also important to note that even though it is an outpatient procedure, you will need to arrange a ride home as you will be unable to drive.
During iStent inject® W
The cataract removal and iStent inject® W procedures are usually performed under local anesthesia. After the surgeon removes your cataracts, he or she will implant the iStent inject® W. Implanting the stents does not significantly extend the length of time you will spend in surgery. Cataract surgery typically takes about an hour or less. The two tiny iStent inject® W stents are gently inserted into your eye during cataract surgery to help reduce the pressure associated with glaucoma. iStent inject® W creates two bypasses, or openings, between the front part of your eye and its natural ability to drain fluid. Once inserted, you will not be able to see or feel the stents, but they will be working to help reduce your eye pressure. You should not feel any pain during the procedure.
After iStent inject® W
iStent inject® W is an outpatient procedure, which means you’ll be able to go home the same day. After the procedure, you will likely receive antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops to use. Your ophthalmologist will schedule a follow-up appointment to see you the day after your surgery. Recovery time is usually quick, but your doctor may recommend that you take a few days off from work or your normal routine. You should also refrain from strenuous activities such as sports, lifting heavy objects, or any straining movements that will increase your eye pressure. The risks associated with performing cataract surgery with the iStent inject® W are similar to those related to performing cataract surgery alone. For more information regarding specific risks associated with your condition, please talk to your eye care professional, or read the Important Safety Information here. Choosing iStent inject® W can provide a number of benefits. It is designed to work continuously and may reduce the number of glaucoma medications needed, at your physician’s discretion of course. In addition, the procedure will help to manage your eye pressure, which is the key to treating glaucoma.
Help Preserve Your Vision Today!
If you’re living with glaucoma and cataracts, help is right around the corner! The treatment of glaucoma has come a long way, and as technology has progressed, less invasive techniques have emerged that have improved the safety profile for glaucoma surgery. Leading eye professionals across the country offer iStent inject® W for the treatment of mild-to-moderate open-angle glaucoma. Find out if you are a candidate for iStent inject® W by talking with an expert in your area today. Visit our website to learn more about glaucoma and available treatment options, including the iStent inject® W. Also, follow Living with Glaucoma on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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