Mar 14, 2013 9:31 AM by Marissa Torres
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world -- but now a new treatment is helping patients.
Robert Poirier, a retired Ophthalmologist, has Glaucoma which can lead to blindness due to increased pressure in the eye. Eye drops reduced his pressure only so much. so when he heard about the Istent, he made sure he was one of the first in line.
"As a retired M.D., this has been the most eye-opening experience that I have ever had."
"These new stents are completely novel there has not been anything like them in the past," says Dr. Thomas Samuelson, the primary investigator on the FDA trial for the tiny millimeter Istent which drains fluid from the eye to lower pressure.
He says it's safer than traditional Glaucoma surgery because the Istent is implanted during Cataract surgery.
"The new stents allow us to do it through about a 1.5 millimeter incision through the cornea which is a very safe incision it the same incision for cataract surgery. We place this 1 mm stent in the eyes' natural drainage channel and it's incredibly safe."
Poirer says his results are perfect.
"And my eye pressures are preferably normal so I mean to me it's an absolute miracle."
Traditionally Glaucoma surgery was only done for advanced cases. For the first time, doctors can offer a safe procedure that can be used earlier in the disease.
Something to keep in mind, Dr. Samuelson says it's not paid for by Medicare.