More than 4 million Americans and 300,000 Australians are living with an eye condition called glaucoma. Without proper treatment, glaucoma can lead to blindness – and the condition is the leading cause of permanent vision loss in the world. Fortunately, a new minimally invasive treatment is giving hope to people living with glaucoma.
In glaucoma, the eye’s drainage channels become narrow or blocked, making it harder for fluid to drain from the eye, which leads to a build-up of pressure. Over time, this increased pressure within the eye may damage the delicate optic nerve that connects the eye to the brain. Damage to the optic nerve can lead to irreversible damage to one’s eyesight. For most people, a diagnosis of glaucoma means the use of glaucoma eye drops lifelong. However, glaucoma eye drops can cause redness, stinging, and eye irritation – and they are not always enough to control the disease.
Melbourne eye surgeon Dr. Nathan Kerr performed the world’s first iTrack™ Advance procedure. In this revolutionary new treatment, a fine microcatheter is used to gently dilate and unblock the eye’s natural drainage channels. This helps lower eye pressure, the main cause of glaucoma. It may also reduce or eliminate the need for glaucoma eye drops.
Unlike conventional glaucoma surgery, which involves cutting or removing a small portion of the eye to create a new drainage channel, the iTrack™ Advance procedure can restore the eye’s natural drainage channels without the need for an implant and without removing any tissue. Like angioplasty for heart disease, a fine illuminated microcatheter is fed around the entire 360 degrees of the eye’s natural drainage channel in a single pass to dilate the passage before microlitres of a sterile fluid are injected to gently flush the channels that have become blocked. The procedure does not hurt, and it can be performed by itself or at the time of cataract surgery.
The iTrack™ Advance is a day procedure, meaning that patients can recover at home. The postoperative recovery is rapid, and most patients can return to driving and normal activities within just a few days of the procedure. While not a cure for the disease, the iTrack™ Advance is the latest generation of the proven iTrack™ procedure which has been shown in clinical studies to provide long-term control of eye pressure.
Dr. Nathan Kerr, a glaucoma surgeon who specializes in minimally invasive cataract and glaucoma surgery, is the first surgeon in the world to perform the iTrack™ Advance procedure. Having completed a prestigious fellowship at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London he now practices in Melbourne, Australia and sees patients with glaucoma from Victoria, interstate, and overseas.
“Advances in technology mean we can now offer patients a range of options to safely lower their eye pressure, reducing or in many cases even eliminating the need for glaucoma drops. Our focus is not only on saving sight but improving quality of life. The future for patients with glaucoma is very bright,” adds Dr. Nathan Kerr.
Figure: Dr. Nathan Kerr performing the iTrack™ Advance procedure for a patient with glaucoma.
For additional information, visit https://doctorkerr.com.au/itrack.
About Dr. Nathan Kerr
Dr. Nathan Kerr is an experienced cataract and glaucoma surgeon based in Australia. He specializes in minimally invasive cataract and glaucoma surgery.
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