A Bowie, Md. surgery center announced recently that it has become the only facility in the metropolitan Washington area to offer a recently approved surgical device to treat cataracts.

The eye surgery procedure, which involves implanting a device called the Glaukos iStent® in the eye, is considered minimally invasive surgery for the removal of cataracts. The Food and Drug Administration approved the trabecular microbypass stent June 2012.

Dimensions Surgery Center in Bowie announced on Nov. 18 that it is currently the only facility in the region where the Istent trabecular microbypass is being performed.

Dimensions Surgery Center Medical Director Dr. Jonathan Solomon is performing the procedure, a Dimensions news release said.

This procedure is a treatment option to reduce eye pressure for patients with both cataracts and glaucoma.

When patients receive an Istent Trabecular Micro-Bypass during cataract surgery, Dimensions said, less medicine is required to control their eye pressure and many patients may no longer need prescription eye drops at all, the surgery center said.

The process is extremely useful for adult patients with mild-to-moderate open-angle glaucoma and who are currently being treated with glaucoma medicine.

Glaucoma, a group of diseases that damage the optic nerve, is one of the leading causes of vision loss and blindness, the FDA said in a news release. Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of glaucoma.

“This is great news for people who have both a cataract and glaucoma,” Solomon said in the news release. “This Istent device is so small that you are unable to see it or feel it after the procedure is done.”

Eye drops that are used to treat glaucoma can be expensive and difficult to administer at times.

Uncontrolled pressure in the eye can increase the risk for permanent vision loss, according to medical researchers.

Solomon is the surgical/refractive director for Solomon Eye Associates. He is a broad certified ophthalmologist specializing in anterior segment surgery, including cataract and refractive surgery. A native of Greenbelt, Md., Solomon is a graduate of the University of Maryland College Park.

Solomon received his medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine and completed post-graduate training at the Casey Eye Institute and at Devere Eye Institute, both in Portland, Ore.

Courtney Jacobs

AFRO Staff Writer