Glaucoma is a sight-threatening eye disease that affects an estimated 4 million people in the United States and 65 million people worldwide. Very small, complex catheters can now be inserted into small drainage structures within the eye, enabling glaucoma surgeons to enlarge these compromised outflow passages for the treatment of glaucoma.

Patients with glaucoma have a promising new treatment option for the reduction of elevated pressure inside the eye. These microcatheters are measured in microns or approximately the size of four to five human hairs combined. iScience Interventional, manufacturer of these microcatheters, received expanded indications for use from the FDA for their microcatheters for specific treatment of primary open angle glaucoma (POAG). POAG is the most common form of glaucoma that occurs in approximately 90% of all glaucoma patients.

iScience Interventional has been committed to discovering and developing new microcatheter surgical-based systems for ophthalmology. “We have been using the same surgical procedures for the last fifty years with only small modifications,” commented Richard A. Lewis, MD, past-president of the American Glaucoma Society. “Historically, we have been looking for ways to drain fluid out of the eye by using surgically created holes. A relatively new procedure known as the canaloplasty now rejuvenates the eye’s natural system to lower pressure.”

The minimally-invasive surgical technique, called the canaloplasty, uses a 250 micron microcatheter to access the drainage channels and utilizes the eye’s natural drainage system to remove fluid from the eye. This interventional procedure has been performed worldwide for more than three years.

Much like its more advanced predecessors in interventional cardiology and interventional neuroradiology, the canaloplasty is emerging into a practical alternative to more invasive surgical procedures.

“Canaloplasty strengthens the ophthalmologists’ options for patients with primary open angle glaucoma,” asserts Dr. Lewis. “Ophthalmologists have recognized for decades that the ideal solution to glaucoma would restore or maintain the eye’s natural drainage system. The canaloplasty does just that.”

“Microcatheters represent an exciting new frontier for ophthalmology,” commented Michael Nash, President of iScience Interventional. “We believe that interventional procedures will significantly alter the treatment paradigm for a wide range of eye diseases and disorders in the future.”