Revolutionary method of glaucoma progression prevention implemented in Armenia
YEREVAN, OCTOBER 16, ARMENPRESS. New, perhaps, revolutionary method for the prevention of glaucoma progression is being implemented at the Glaucoma Department of the Malayan Eye Center in Yerevan, Armenia, with the help of the iStent - Trabecular Micro-Bypass (Glaukos). It is the smallest medical device ever approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). The iStent is designed to create a permanent opening in the trabecular meshwork, and works continuously to improve the outflow of fluid from the eyes to help control eye pressure.
At the course of the press conference held in the press centre of "Armenpress" News Agency, the Chief Ophthalmologist of the Republic of Armenia Alexander Malayan stated that it has already been 6 years since the program they realize in the clinic became the part of the American-Armenian program. Among other things the Chief Ophthalmologist of the Republic of Armenia Alexander Malayan underscored that he has turned to the Ministry of Healthcare of the Republic of Armenia to organize a joint and more efficient struggle for early disease detection.
The inventor of the iStent is Richard A. Hill, M.D., Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, University of California at Irvin, and Board Member for the Armenian EyeCare Project (AECP). Dr. Hill has been to Armenia for number of times and has performed numerous surgeries at no cost.
Dr. Lilit Voskanyan, head of the Glaucoma Department at Malayan Eye Center, is the only expert in Armenia that implants iStent. She has completed a fellowship with Dr. Hill in the United States with the support of the AECP. After the fellowship Dr. Voskanyan uses her knowledge not only in ordinary but also at international level innovative medical practice.
The functioning of iStent is so much revolutionary and important that a world famous glaucoma expert, Professor at the University of Minnesota Department of Ophthalmology, Dr. Richard L. Lindstrom visited Armenia with a special mission to consult with Dr. Lilit Voskanyan upon iStent. Dr. Lindstrom is the recognized leader in ophthalmology in the U.S. and worldwide. It is very honorable to see how the expert of this scale consults with Armenian doctors not only using the iStent but with other eye diseases as well.
The importance for iStent usage in Armenia is representing the county as a model and center of excellence to the rest of the world.
Glaucoma poses a significant clinical and financial burden on the world healthcare community affecting more than 60.5 million people by the year 2010 and increasing to nearly 80 million cases by 2020. Of these patients, 74% will have primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), the number two cause of blindness worldwide. The rapidly increasing incidence of POAG has created a significant demand for cost-effective clinical solutions that address the physiological, clinical, and patient management challenges of the disease. The iStent® trabecular micro-bypass device was developed by Glaukos® to address many of these challenges and the limitations of current prescription and surgical therapies.
Multiple, prospective multi-country, clinical trials have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of iStent in reducing IOP, when compared to traditional treatment modalities, while reducing/ eliminating the need for ocular antihypertensive drugs when implanted in OAG patients during combined cataract surgery or in patients with glaucoma refractory to traditional treatment modalities.