Hydrus Microstent: A Minimally Invasive Procedure That Treats Glaucoma and Cataracts at the Same Time

Over the years, treatment for glaucoma has evolved significantly. Instead of performing invasive surgeries and dispensing endless supplies of medicated eye drops, some eye doctors have made the shift to forms of MIGS (minimally invasive glaucoma surgery) that provide effective treatment with less recovery. At Austin Eye, Dr. Shannon Wong and his fellow eye doctors are excited to offer Hydrus® Microstent, one of the best new ways to slow the progression of glaucoma. Better still, this procedure can be performed in conjunction with cataract surgery to achieve better vision and eye health all at once.    

Glaucoma and Cataracts: Understanding the Conditions

Glaucoma is a condition in which pressure builds in the eyes, usually due to an overproduction of fluids or improper drainage. This pressure gradually damages the optic nerve, a part that is responsible for passing visual information from the retina to the brain. Unfortunately, vision lost to glaucoma is irreversible.

Cataracts affect almost half of Americans over the age of 75. They occur when proteins in the eye’s lens start to deteriorate and clump together. These protein clumps make vision progressively hazier. The best way to treat cataracts is with surgery: by replacing the natural lens with an artificial lens (IOL), the cataracts are gone and cannot return.

Although cataracts and glaucoma are not interrelated eye conditions, they are often diagnosed at similar times because both are associated with aging. In fact, some glaucoma treatments have been found to accelerate the development of cataracts, so many patients with early signs of cataracts ultimately decide to treat both conditions simultaneously.

How Does Hydrus Microstent Work

Hydrus Microstent is a tiny device made of biocompatible material that is implanted in the eye. It is referred to as a canal because it is highly successful at improving the eye’s drainage. Specifically, fluids can more easily exit the eye via the Schlemm’s canal at the corner of the iris. Without excess fluids, ocular pressure can remain steady or increase much more slowly than it would without treatment.

It is not necessary to perform cataract surgery along with Hydrus Microstent. However, because cataract surgery utilizes the same incision as this MIGS, many choose to have their hazy natural lens replaced with an IOL so they can have clear, unobstructed vision. 

Schedule an Appointment

Have you been diagnosed with glaucoma and/or cataracts? You may be a good candidate for Hydrus Microstent or another type of treatment that preserves and improves your sight. To discuss your options with Dr. Wong or one of Austin Eye’s other fabulous doctors, please call (512) 250-2020.