Ex-PRESSTM Mini Glaucoma Shunt
Don was going blind, suffering from severe glaucoma. He lived alone. Since 1996, his vision had steadily deteriorated to where he could no longer read, his favorite pastime, or drive more than a few miles from home.
Don had tried every possible option to treat don for his glaucoma, including several complicated eye operations and prescription drugs. Nothing worked beyond a very temporary fix. Dr. Yavitz had run out of options and his patient was steadily losing his sight...until a new procedure was made available this year.
The "Ex-PRESSTM mini glaucoma shunt" is a minimally invasive procedure that reduces "intraocular pressure" (IOP), the primary cause of Don's glaucoma. This represents the first major surgical breakthrough in treating glaucoma in three decades.
The Ex-PRESSTM glaucoma implant was designed with the intention of offering a safer, simpler and less invasive glaucoma procedure. Because the Ex-PRESSTM device is so tiny (less than the size of a grain of rice) patients like Don can have the procedure done on an out-patient basis.
About 10 million Americans have elevated eye pressure (IOP), which places them at high risk for development of glaucoma. Until the introduction of the Ex-PRESSTM mini glaucoma shunt, IOP has been treated by a much more invasive procedure called "trabeculectomy," that only a very limited number of glaucoma specialists across the u.s. can perform. Trabeculectomy is a 30-year-old procedure whose results are unpredictable, and even several of these surgeries did not work for Don.
The minimally invasive Ex-PRESSTM device allows clinicians (glaucoma specialists as well as general ophthalmologists) to get the same consistent results with drastically reduced complications each time they treat a patient.
In Don’s own words:
"After the procedure, I'm back to normal. I can get on the Interstate and head north to go fishing like I used to before my eyes went bad. Now I can again read books and newspapers, which is a real joy to me because I never thought I’d be able to do this ever again. I am very fortunate that I had this new surgery, and I'm really glad that I had it. I would strongly recommend that anyone with glaucoma have this new procedure. I have my life back….it's the greatest thing in the world that's ever happened to me."