Mr Venki Sundaram
Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
MD FRCOphth MRCOphth BMBCh BSc Harpenden / Cobham Clinic: 01582 714451 Bushey: 0208 901 5561

iStent Eye Drainage Surgery

What is an iStent?

The iStent is a tiny eye drainage device that is inserted into the drainage system inside the front of the eye, also known as the trabecular meshwork, and is usually performed at the end of cataract surgery.

Glaucoma is an eye condition that can affect sight, usually due to an increase in intraocular pressure (IOP). This increased pressure is often a result of the aqueous humour within the eye becoming blocked.

An iStent procedure allows for increased drainage of aqueous humour fluid from the eye, thereby helping to reduce IOP.

Who Needs iStent Eye Surgery?

The iStent eye drainage surgery is suitable for patients with mild to moderate glaucoma or ocular hypertension, who are due to undergo cataract surgery. The iStent is effective in reducing IOP, and possibly reducing the number of glaucoma eye drops required, thereby providing more effective IOP control.

Woman having her eye's checked by an eye surgeon

What is the Procedure for iStent Eye Surgery?

To manage the increased eye pressure, usually, two iStents are inserted at the end of a standard cataract operation. However, it can also be performed as a standalone procedure if necessary.

A special lens is used to help guide the placement of the iStents, and a fingertip controlled micro-device is used to insert the iStents into the drainage channels inside the front of the eye. The iStent device itself is the world’s smallest human implant and you can rest assured that you will not be able to feel or see the device once it is inserted.

The iStent eye surgery itself only takes around 5 minutes at the end of cataract surgery and is usually performed under local anesthesia.

A graphic design close up of 2 iStent devices from eye drainage surgery

What are the Benefits of iStent Eye Surgery?

With the correct patient selection, insertion of the iStent can lead to a significant reduction in eye pressure in the majority of patients. This allows for better control or prevention of glaucoma.

Some patients may also be able to reduce the number of eyedrops they take or possibly stop using them. This is particularly useful for patients who have to use multiple glaucoma medications, have difficulty instilling eye drops or experience side effects or discomfort with glaucoma eye drops.

What’s more, you can also rest assured that there are no additional risks to those involved with standard cataract surgery associated with an iStent insertion.

2 iStent devices eye drainage surgery sitting on a penny to show the size scale

How quickly do you recover from iStent Eye Surgery?

The recovery is no different from patients undergoing standard cataract surgery, so your vision should improve and eye feel comfortable with a few days. The iStent device is less invasive compared to other complex drainage procedures, meaning iStent eye surgery recovery time is much faster for the majority of patients. The iStent implant should start working straight away or at least within the first few weeks.

Following the operation, you will be asked to apply eye drops daily to the operated eye for a few weeks after the procedure. You will then be asked to come in for an examination to see if the IOP has become stable and whether you will need to continue applying eye drops.

Book an iStent Eye Drainage Surgery Consultation in Hertfordshire today

Mr Venki Sundaram is a trusted and experienced Consultant Ophthalmologist. If you would like to find out more about this procedure, get in touch today and visit one of our Hertfordshire clinics in Harpenden, Luton and Bushey.

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Mr Venki Sundaram