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iStent trial

Glaucoma is the most common cause of irreversible blindness in the world. Treatment aims to lower intraocular pressure (IOP) and typically includes medication, laser, or surgery. While surgery is a very successful treatment, it is invasive and any surgery comes with a risk of complications. In recent years, minimally-invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) has become an increasingly popular option of treating mild to moderate glaucoma. It is usually performed in conjunction with cataract surgery. The iStent is a microscopic MIGS device founded by Glaukos that is approved for use in Australia. The iStent Inject® is the second generation of the iStent device and Australia is one of the first countries in the world to have access to it. It can inject a MIGS device smaller than a sesame seed into the eye, to assist with eye pressure and potentially improve vision. With the support of Glaukos, the Eye and Ear has been conducting a randomised controlled trial throughout 2018 and 2019 comparing the effect of cataract surgery alone to combined cataract surgery with insertion of iStent Inject® for 100 open angle glaucoma patients. Eligible patients are sorted into two groups, half receiving cataract surgery alone (50) or cataract surgery with iStent Inject® (50). The recovery and results for each patient group will then be compared and contrasted, with a follow up period of two years. The Glaucoma Investigative and Research Unit (GIRU) have lead this trial, guided by Dr Jennifer Fan Gaskin and Dr Brian Ang. It is their hope that the trial will deliver clear results on the efficacy of the use of the iStent Inject® as minimally invasive treatment for glaucoma. The trial is drawing to a close, but interested patients should notify their Eye and Ear treating clinicians should they wish to be included.