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MIGS with iStent: A new and effective way to manage glaucoma

Dr. Robert AngDr. Robert AngGlaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness worldwide, is usually characterized by an abnormally high eye pressure.

“The eye has a ‘drainage system’ wherein fluid normally flows in and out,” explains Asian Eye Institute glaucoma, cataract, and cornea and refractive specialist Dr. Robert Ang. “When this drainage system gets blocked, this fluid can’t flow at its normal rate. This causes the buildup in eye pressure, eventually damaging the optic nerve. This is a problem because the optic nerve is responsible for carrying information from the eye to the brain.

“Any damage to the optic nerve is permanent and can lead to irreversible blindness. To preserve their vision, we strictly monitor the patient’s eye condition through regular checkups and recommend the best possible treatment options,” he adds. While there is no cure, different treatment options are available today to lower or maintain the eye pressure at a normal level. Typically, glaucoma patients are given prescription eye drops.

Those with advanced cases are recommended to undergo laser, filtering or other traditional surgeries. However, these surgeries may be too invasive, have long recovery and can cause various complications.

Micro-Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS) with iStent is one of the next-generation glaucoma treatments.

According to Ang, MIGS was developed to reduce the complications of most standard glaucoma surgeries.

“We make use of a tiny medical implant called iStent to create a bypass between the front part of the eye and its natural drainage pathway. This helps improve the outflow of eye fluid, reducing eye pressure.”

Asian Eye uses Glaukos’ iStent Trabecular Microbypass, the first MIGS device that has been proven safe and effective by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Ang says: “The iStent is so small that you won’t see or feel it. It is also made of surgicalgrade titanium, so it likely won’t be rejected by the body. Also, the insertion of iStent takes only about five to 10 minutes, so it is minimally traumatic and allows faster recovery. Patients can return to their normal activities more rapidly than the other forms of glaucoma surgery.”

Ang is a pioneer in the MIGS with iStent procedure in the Philippines. It is recommended to patients who have difficulty taking medication, experience side effects or complications from medication, have mild to moderate glaucoma, have undergone or will undergo cataract surgery, and would benefit from reduction of eye pressure or medication.

For inquiries or appointments, call 898-2020. (Story/Photos by: Charizze Henson)