October 23, 2012

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Article

Smallest FDA-Approved Medical Device Now Available

Press Release

October 23, 2012

 

The Eye Institute of Utah announced that Eye surgeon Dr. Robert J. Cionni, MD is providing the iStent Trabecular Micro-Bypass Stent as a treatment option to reduce eye pressure for patients with both cataracts and glaucoma.

The iStent is FDA-approved for use in conjunction with cataract surgery to reduce eye pressure in adult patients with mild-to-moderate open-angle glaucoma currently being treated with glaucoma medicine. In clinical trials, the iStent has been shown to safely reduce eye pressure, which is the primary cause of open-angle glaucoma.

“This is great news for people who have both cataract and glaucoma and are using eye drops to control their eye pressure,” said Cionni. “It is common that patients forget to use these eye drops, because they have to be administered multiple times a day over a long period of time. When the drops are not taken as prescribed, they become less effective in treating glaucoma. They can also be expensive. The iStent can help to control the eye’s intraocular pressure and may allow the patient to reduce the amount of drops needed for glaucoma control. Some may not need prescribed drops at all. However it is still important to have a regular eye exam to ensure healthy levels of pressure.”

The iStent is the smallest medical device ever approved by the FDA and is placed in a patient’s eye during cataract surgery. Cionni said, “It is so small you are unable to see or feel it after the procedure is done. Although you won’t even know the iStent is there, it will be working to help reduce your eye pressure.”

Implanting the iStent does not significantly extend the length of time the patient spends in surgery and has a similar safety profile to cataract surgery alone.

Studies have shown that more than 90 percent of patients do not comply with their ocular medication dosing regimens and nearly 50 percent discontinue taking their medications within six months. Cionni cautioned that, “This can be a serious problem. When pressure in the eye is out of control, it can increase the risk for permanent vision loss. I consider the iStent an important advancement in protecting against vision loss for my glaucoma patients. The iStent is the first device of its kind and was available first at the Eye Institute of Utah due to our reputation for providing comprehensive eye care.”

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