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Eye surgery could halt glaucoma progression

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A Belfast woman has become the first person in the UK and Ireland to have revolutionary eye surgery aimed at halting the progress of the blinding disease glaucoma.

Surgeons at the Cathedral Eye Clinic in Belfast fitted 66 year old Mary McCall’s eye with a device called the iStent.

A tiny piece of titanium weighing just 60 microgrammes, the iStent is the smallest medical device ever to be implanted into the human body.

The device drains fluid away, lowering eye pressure from a sensitive part at the back of the eye which causes glaucoma.

Mrs McCall will soon undergo the 15-minute procedure on her second eye.

Steve Winyard, head of campaigns at the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), said: “Although this new device will not bring back vision that has already been lost, surgical options such as iStent can offer a more practical treatment to glaucoma patients who find their current medication to preserve sight difficult.

He said: “Interim results for iStent look very promising and if shown to be cost effective, we hope that it will become more widely available so that many more patients can benefit.

“Regular sight tests are recommended by RNIB to pick up early signs of this or any eye disease.”

Click here to see the Cathedral Eye Clinic study

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