University of Rochester Medical Center uses new technique to help people living with glaucoma
Updated: 09/19/2013 5:41 PM
Created: 09/19/2013 4:57 PM WHEC.com
By: Berkeley Brean
It's another example why the University of Rochester Medical Center is the new Kodak Park. They're doing things no one else is doing.
On Thursday, it's about staving off the second leading cause of blindness for people in Rochester and helping people with glaucoma live a better life.
Technically, it's pretty complicated. Practically, it's simple. They're helping people see better and live a better life with a device that is smaller than the date stamped on a penny.
Esther Bonis got the device put in by Dr. Shakeel Shareef. Mrs. Bonis had glaucoma and one of the things that happens is that the affliction blocks the fluid in the eye from draining. So after her surgery, Dr. Shareef inserted a tiny stent next to her iris. He's the only one to do it in a 100 mile radius. Now instead of having her eye fill up with fluid so she has to take eye drops all day, like glaucoma patients have had to do forever, Mrs. Bonis sees perfectly.
Esther Bonis said, “So now I have two eyes with no cataracts and the color is so intense, I can hardly believe it. It's like a whole new world. The leaves are green. Purple is purple. It's amazing. Just amazing. I'm so happy.”
Dr. Shakeel Shareef, ophthalmologist at University of Rochester Medical Center, said, “This particular procedure is now showing us that we can actually treat glaucoma surgically.”
The stent is inserted at the edge of the iris and it allows all the fluid the eye produces to leave the eye. For patients recovering from glaucoma, it is a huge relief. The stent is smaller than the minted date on a penny.
Dr. Shareef says, with this procedure, people can be back to work two weeks after surgery. Dr. Shareef was the first doctor in western New York to insert these stents. He's still the only one in Rochester who does it. There are only two others within a 100 mile radius.