Ivantis has developed the Hydrus™ Microstent, the world’s first “intracanalicular scaffold” for the treatment of primary open angle glaucoma (POAG). The Hydrus procedure is designed to be less invasive than traditional glaucoma surgery and can be performed during cataract surgery using the same microsurgical incisions. Roughly the size of an eyelash, the Hydrus Microstent is made from a super-elastic, biocompatible alloy (nitinol®), which is a well-proven biomaterial used in over 1 million implants in a variety of medical devices to date.
The Hydrus Microstent is designed to relieve the high intraocular pressure (IOP) that is common in patients with POAG. In patients with POAG, eye pressure increases because the eye’s fluid channels become blocked. The tiny Hydrus scaffold is designed to be inserted into the primary fluid canal (called Schlemm’s canal) of the eye and open the channel to allow blocked fluid to flow more freely, thus reducing high IOP.
The procedure required to implant the Hydrus scaffold is designed to be quick, less invasive, and performed in conjunction with cataract surgery. Doctors can now, using the unique delivery system, implant a Hydrus Microstent through the very small incisions needed for cataract surgery. No additional incisions are necessary (unlike many of the more traditional surgical procedures used to treat glaucoma). This significantly less invasive approach is called “ab-interno”, and may lead to fewer complications and faster healing times than traditional glaucoma surgery. Following cataract surgery, the insertion of the Hydrus Microstent into the outflow canal of your eye, called “Schlemm’s canal”, typically takes your doctor an additional two minutes. Normally, you will not be able to see or feel the tiny device in place following your procedure.