Submitted by Mississippi Valley Surgery Center
Almost everyone has a bedtime routine. For some, it’s a cup of chamomile tea. For others, it’s reading a few pages in a good book or a soaking in a warm bath.
However, Clinton resident Mary Neblung’s nightly routine had little to do with restful sleep. Instead, it was all about saving her eyesight.
Mary would get into bed, tilt her head back and delicately place prescription drops in both of her eyes before going to sleep. The eye drops treated her glaucoma and were an important part of maintaining her vision.
“The nightly ritual was just about second nature to me,” said Mary. “I’d been putting drops in my eyes for 12 years.”
Thanks in part to a new minimally invasive eye surgery performed by Dr. Navaneet S.C. Borisuth, M.D., Ph.D., at the Mississippi Valley Surgery Center, Mary has overcome her crippling glaucoma. Today she is eye-drop free!
Life with glaucoma
Mary was diagnosed with glaucoma in 2004 at the age of 66. Though the disease is often hereditary, no one else in her family had it.
“Glaucoma has been dubbed the sneak thief of sight because of its insidious nature,” said Dr. Borisuth. “There are more than two million Americans with glaucoma, half of whom are unaware that they have the disease until they experience loss of part of their vision.”
Glaucoma is a condition that causes damage to the eye’s optic nerve and gets worse over time. It’s often linked to a buildup of pressure inside the eye. The increased pressure, called intraocular pressure, can damage the optic nerve, which transmits images to the brain. If the damage continues, glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss.
Mary needed to use eye drops nightly to maintain a healthy pressure in her eye, but the drops weren’t as effective as they could be. To address this, Mary opted for Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT), which is a form of laser surgery used to lower intraocular pressure in glaucoma. However, the benefits of SLT are only temporary.
As the effects of SLT wore off, Mary’s eyesight once again deteriorated. Concerns about her vision came to a head in 2015.
“My husband and I were traveling, and it became obvious to me that my vision wasn’t what it used to be,” said Mary. “It was very difficult.”
When she returned home, she sought out Dr. Borisuth with Virdi Eye Clinic. A leading expert in advanced techniques of cataract, glaucoma and refractive surgery. Dr. Borisuth often performs minimally invasive procedures at Mississippi Valley Surgery Center — the Quad-City’s largest multi-specialty outpatient surgery center. The team at Mississippi Valley Surgery Center is focused on excellence in care and service.
New minimally invasive procedure for glaucoma means better results
Until recently, treating glaucoma involved making large incisions in the patient’s eye that took nearly 10 weeks to fully heal and could result in bleeding and other complications. Recent surgical innovations have changed this.
“There are new surgeries that have emerged that are very effective in treating glaucoma — the iStent procedure is one of them,” said Dr. Borisuth. “The iStent results in shorter recovery times and better outcomes than traditional approaches.”
After completing a trabeculectomy in her left eye, Dr. Borisuth tackled the glaucoma in Mary’s right eye — which had also developed cataracts — with an iStent procedure performed at Mississippi Valley Surgery Center.
“This new, minimally invasive surgical procedure is great because it provides a more permanent solution for glaucoma patients,” said Dr. Borisuth. “iStent is the smallest device to be implanted in the human body and works by opening up the blockage caused by glaucoma and relieving the pressure.”
The iStent procedure is recommended for patients with cataracts and glaucoma. Mary’s iStent procedure took an additional 10 minutes after her cataract surgery. She was resting comfortably at home within hours.
“The whole experience at Mississippi Valley Surgery Center was wonderful,” said Mary. “Everybody was very kind and helpful. I felt very at ease there.”
Mary’s eyesight is now much better, and nightly eye drops are a thing of the past.
“The first couple of nights, it felt like I was forgetting something,” said Mary. “It had become such a normal part of my life that not using eye drops felt wrong. But now I’m used to it, and it feels great!”
For Dr. Borisuth, advancing procedures like the iStent signal a positive shift in how glaucoma patients are being treated.
“New and improved procedures are fundamentally changing the way we help people,” he said. “Instead of waiting until things get really bad, we can bypass years of eye drops, which have costs and side effects for patients. We can help them much sooner and more effectively.”
To learn more about Dr. Borisuth and the Virdi Eye Clinic, visit http://virdieyemd.com.
To learn more about the Mississippi Valley Surgery Center, go to www.mvhealth.net and visit Facebook at facebook.com/Mississippi