By Dr. Nikhil Wagle ~
Cataract surgery is the most common surgical procedure done in the United States, and every year, about three million people undergo this operation. In most patients, vision improves, and many people choose to be less dependent on glasses afterward. Even with such successful outcomes, one of the inconveniences postoperatively is the need to use eye drops to help prevent infection and reduce inflammation.
At Eye Surgeons Associates, we offer a novel new option to treat postoperative inflammation and reduce the number of eye drops needed following cataract surgery. Dextenza is a corticosteroid implant that is gently placed into the punctum of the lower eyelid. It provides an extended, slow release of steroids into the operative eye for 30 days. There is no need to remove Dextenza because the body absorbs it after 30 days.
This insert can simplify post-surgical treatment management by eliminating the need for patients to apply steroid eye drops, which is especially helpful for patients with comorbidities such as Parkinson’s disease, tremors, arthritis and memory issues associated with dementia. Dextenza can be used in most patients aside from patients with certain eye conditions such as glaucoma and herpetic eye disease that may prevent its usage.
Overall, the Dextenza insert can positively impact patients’ postoperative experience as they will no longer need to worry about the complicated steroid drop regimen. A reduction in drops leads to better patient compliance. And better patient compliance leads to improved outcomes.
In December, David had cataract surgery with Dr. Wagle and was one of the first patients to have Dextenza inserted in both eyes. He assures, “I didn’t know it was there.” After cataract surgery, there is a minimum of three drops to administer the first week, three times a day, and at least three minutes is needed between drops. Dextenza eliminates the steroid eye drop. David continues, “The convenience and time saving was well worth it!” He added, “I recently went to the DMV and had the lens restriction removed from my license. I passed the eye test with no mistakes!”
Bio: Nikhil Wagle, M.D., is board certified with a fellowship in glaucoma. He sees patients in our Rock Island and Bettendorf offices.
The material contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider.