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Tiny device helps treat glaucoma

Rochester, N.Y. - They say good things come in small packages.

That seems to be the case with the "iStent."

So small, you can't even see it without high magnification.

The tiny device changed the life of Henrietta resident Esther Bonis in a big way.

It was all the same color. I don't know what color it was, it all looked alike, Bonis said.

Doctors told Bonis she had cataracts and developed glaucoma.

Glaucoma is caused by elevated pressure in the eye because of poor fluid drainage.

It can eventually lead to blindness.

Bonis had a procedure where doctors create a flap to drain fluid but even after the procedure is done, eye drops are required, which Bonis found irritating.

I took, sometimes there were 18 to 20 different drops during the day for weeks, Bonis said.

This small stent allows fluid to bypass clog in the sink, Dr. Shakeel Shareef, an Ophthalmologist with URMCs Flaum Eye Institute said.

Dr. Shareef considers himself an eye plumber.

He's the first in western New York to use this device which acts as a canal, draining excess fluid that was blocked.

What this new surgery allows us to do is you can internally, after doing cataract surgery, implant this and the patient doesn't even know they have it in the eye, Dr. Shareef said.

He said the procedure improves a patient's quality of life.

They can return to work faster and make less frequent trips back to the doctor.

Dr. Shareef said there's no need for eye drops after this procedure.

Most importantly, for Bonis, the procedure offers a more colorful point of view.

Oh, marvelous, marvelous, the colors are so intense, even the leaves on the trees are so green, Bonis said.

 Alexis Arnold, 13WHAM-TV
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