The iStent is the smallest implant that can be implanted into the human body. Measuring just 0.36 mm long it is made of titanium and is designed to create a bypass between the front part of the eye and its natural drainage pathway to increase the flow of fluid. This enables the eye’s natural fluid outflow to safely lower intraocular pressure and it continues to work to improve the natural flow of fluid in the eye.
What does the surgery involve?
The operation is usually performed under a local anaesthetic. The iStent is implanted through a small, self-sealing incision in the clear part of the eye (cornea) and can be performed at the same time as a cataract surgery or by itself and works immediately.
The surgery is a day-case procedure and relatively quick to perform. You will not be able to drive for a while following surgery and will be asked to wear an eye shield for a few days after your surgery to protect the eye.
Immediately after the procedure your vision in the operated eye might be blurry for one to two weeks, and your eye might be slightly bloodshot for a few days. You will be given antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops to prevent infection and inflammation.
Your Consultant will inform you if and when to stop taking any of your prescribed eye drops following surgery.
What are the possible side effects/risks?
The iStent is not suitable for all patients and your Consultant will fully discuss the risks and benefits with you. After iStent implantation, some patients have experienced inflammation and swelling of the eye, decreased vision sharpness and cloudiness. However, this is rare and will be fully discussed with your Consultant before you proceed with surgery,