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    Gel stent brings new hope for early glaucoma patients

    Device as effective as trabeculectomy, can be used early with less surgical side effects


    The stent has been approved for use in Canada and the European Union but remains investigational in the United States. Enrollment for a U.S.-based IDE study has been completed and follow-up will be complete in early 2016.

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    “In terms of minimally invasive stents, some of these eyes have been implanted quite some time ago,” Dr. Reitsamer said. "As the follow-up period extends, more and more eyes reach the 36-month exam. The robust pressure reduction and stability of the implant even in patients implanted early on is reassuring."

    Of the stents that have been followed for 36 months, 5% were converted to another procedure. The overall conversion rates were similar at 12 and 24 months. The conversion rate for the XEN 45 is less than 2% at 12 months. The design is based on the Hagen-Pioseuille law of laminar flow and maintains a positive pressure gradient between the anterior chamber and the subconjunctival space.

    How it performs

    The stent is made of a cross-linked gel that injected through the anterior chamber into the subconjunctival space. It hydrates and swells on injection, creating a soft, flexible drainage channel that conforms to the ocular tissue and cannot migrate. Inflammation and erosion have not been observed as significant problems.

    Next: Study outcomes examined

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