Published On: October 23rd, 2015Categories: Eye Health Care

What is Micro-Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS) – an Introduction

This field of new devices and procedures designed to be less invasive, is great news for glaucoma patients who are considering cataract surgery. One such microstent, roughly the size of an eyelash, can be placed into the eye’s drainage system during cataract surgery. It acts as a kind of scaffolding that helps to open and enlarge the drainage system. In so doing, the stent helps to lower intraocular pressure. This innovative device is similar in form and fashion to the stents used for heart conditions such as coronary artery disease.

The Eye Surgeons at Garden Route Eye Clinic are qualified to perform MIGS.

Glaucoma is a disease defined as optic nerve damage. The primary cause of this nerve damage is elevated pressure inside the eye (intraocular pressure). Damage to the optic nerve can lead to progressive sight loss over the course of a patient’s life. Over the past several decades in the United States, the use of surgery as a stand-alone procedure for treating glaucoma has declined steadily. This is due to the fact that the medications (eyedrops) available to treat the disease have improved dramatically, while standard glaucoma surgeries are still considered to be high-risk for sight-threatening complications.

Are You Considering Cataract Surgery?

Because insertion of the device is done at the same time as cataract surgery, patients who need or want cataract surgery can have a combined cataract and glaucoma procedure. The cataract portion is performed to improve vision, and the microstent placement is performed to help control glaucoma. Insertion of the microstent generally adds only a few minutes to the surgery and is done when the cataract portion is completed. The microstent adds little overall risk to the procedure. Insertion of the microstent, however, can help greatly with the task of controlling eye pressure and thus controlling a patient’s glaucoma.

Most patients with both cataracts and glaucoma are considered to be good candidates for this combined procedure. The microstent provides patients with an opportunity to reduce the number of medications they use to manage their disease. It also provides the opportunity to improve eye pressure without being subjected to an ever-increasing number of topical medications (eyedrops), each of which can have side effects for both their eyes and other organs such as the heart and lungs.
Source : Darla Espinosa

Source : American Academy of Ophthalmology

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