LEWISTOWN - Dr. Alan Gordon at the Center for Eye Care in Lewistown has introduced a state-of-the-art procedure known as Isent, the newest surgery for mild to moderate glaucoma treatment.
"While there is no cure for mild to moderate glaucoma, this is the closest thing we have," Gordon said. "It was approved by the FDA earlier this year and, so far, only one other practice in central Pennsylvania has begun using it."
The procedure, performed in tandem with cataract surgery, involves placing a small device within the mesh work of the eye that allows excess fluid to drain into the blood stream, rather than building up pressure in the eye, which causes glaucoma.
"Glaucoma is a disease in which the optic nerve loses nerve cells, usually associated with a high pressure within the eye," Gordon said. "It ultimately affects the vision, but does it in a sneaky way - affecting the outer vision first and only later affecting the central vision."
While most people with glaucoma depend on drops to limit pressure in the eye, drops aid the situation unnaturally by decreasing fluid production, Gordon said. With the Isent treatment, the fluid is passed out of the eye through the same path it would normally follow, keeping the eye healthy, he said.
Drops can also have side effects such as aggravated asthma, heart problems and allergies or create problems with the surface of the eye, Gordon said, and in the long run are much more costly.
"The new technique is extremely safe - much safer than most other glaucoma procedures," Gordon said. "However, it still doesn't replace other glaucoma procedures for advanced disease. Our center expects to perform about 100 of these surgeries per year."
For more information on glaucoma, cataracts or treatment options, visit www.paeyes.com. For more information on the Center for Eye Care or to make an appointment, visit the Center for Eye Care Lewistown Facebook page or call 242-2514.