Tiny eye implant makes big difference in Omaha man's life

Tiny eye implant makes big difference in Omaha man's life

Jim Sorrell has a stent in his eye, but you wouldn't know it.

It's so small even he can't see it or feel it.

"It almost seemed too good to be true," he said.

The tiny medical implant is in his right eye to help treat glaucoma.

If left untreated, it's a disease that could lead to blindness.

"The doctor told me at that time that there was an alternative to taking drops for the rest of my life, and that was iStent," said Sorrell.

Doctors say the the implant called iStent is a newer form of treatment for patients with mild or moderate glaucoma and it doesn't require any cutting.

"We place the stent through and into this canal right here and that creates an easy way for fluid to leave the eye and drain out the normal drainage pathway," said ophthalmologist Dr. Michael Feilmeier.

iStent is said to be one of the smallest devices known to be implanted into the human body, roughly the size of one digit in the year on a penny.

The procedure is FDA approved while done at the same time as cataract surgery.

"It is a safer form of surgery that allows fluid to leave the eye a little bit easier there by lowering the pressure inside of the eye," said Dr. Feilmeier.

He said some people may actually be able to cut down on the eye drops.

In Sorrell's case, he said the procedure went beyond his expectations.

"I haven't been on drops for three months," he said.

Now his focus becomes his other eye.

"I'm really looking forward to it, to not only seeing better, which is the cataract, but not having to put eye drops in my left eye also," said Sorrell.

His next surgery is on the schedule for November.

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