Micro-Invasive Glaucoma Surgery
Dr. Vold is the only fellowship trained glaucoma sub-specialist in Northwest Arkansas. He is recognized as a world leader in the area of glaucoma drug delivery and the development of more minimally invasive glaucoma surgeries, and currently serves as the Chief Medical Editor for the leading national glaucoma publication for physicians. He has performed more of micro-invasive glaucoma surgery than almost anyone in the country, and serves as a consultant to the development of many of these technologies. As a principle investigator in numerous FDA-approved clinical trials, he is able to bring innovative surgical technologies to patients currently unavailable in the United States.
Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the world, and impacts over 3 million people in the United States alone. Unfortunately, glaucoma is often not diagnosed until its later stage due to the fact that peripheral vision is often lost first. Consequently, glaucoma is commonly called the “silent thief of sight.” Published studies show that despite standard treatments, many people still gradually lose their vision over time. Dr. Vold is committed to trying to eradicate this disabling disease by utilizing medications, lasers and surgery. Significant progress appears to being made in this regard.
Over the course of the past few years, Dr. Vold is one of only a select few surgeons in the country to perform a wide array of new innovative glaucoma procedures including filtration surgery using the Ex-PRESS glaucoma filtration device or Ahmed M4 tube shunt, Trabectome surgery, canaloplasty, Transcend Medical’s CyPass micro-stent, Glaukos iStent, Ivantis Hydrus, AqueSys XEN implant and SOLX gold shunt procedures. In fact, Dr. Vold was handpicked as the first surgeon in the United States to perform many of these procedures. He trains doctors all over the world in the area of micro-invasive procedures, and has helped develop the Transcend Vold Goniolens to assist surgeons globally in the performance of these groundbreaking procedures. All of these devices and procedures are now approved in Europe with several procedures now available in the United States. His primary goal is to bring these innovative technologies to his patients to hopefully improve upon the clinical outcomes generally achieved with standard filtration and tube shunt surgery.
Patient Seeing Better Than 20/20 After Glaucoma and Cataract Surgery
John Forberg tells his story of glaucoma with the sound of hope in his voice and a brightness in his eyes, that now have him seeing with better than 20/20 vision. It has been a long road for John and his wife, Vanda, and they hope to encourage others who find themselves struggling with glaucoma, or as many know it — the silent thief of sight.
When John first received the diagnosis, his mind immediately went to his mom, who he watched slowly lose her eye sight to the disease. “When the doctor told me, it wasn’t as bad as if someone had said I had cancer, but it was pretty close,” John shared. “I was imagining the worst. I saw what my mom had gone through. The last eight years of her life without her sight was so hard on her.”
John had already lost some of his sight from the glaucoma, the second leading cause of irreversible blindness in the United States. With little to no symptoms, patients often do not realize they have the eye disease until they notice loss in their peripheral vision.
One of John’s friends heard his news, and told him about Dr. Steven Vold in Northwest Arkansas. John was anxious for help. “When we met Dr. Vold, he came in and looked over my charts and test results. Then in reached over and patted me on my shoulder and said, ‘John, I’m going to be able to you.’ It was a moment I will never forget,” John shared. Vanda remembers it as well, “We were looking at each other like “really”, and sure enough he did.”
Dr. Vold and his team’s help came in the form of a micro-invasive cataract surgery (MIGS) procedure called CyPass. He coupled the Cypass with cataract surgery using an extended range of vision lens. “Glaucoma is a scary disease, and one that can emotionally impact both the patient and their spouse,” Dr. Vold shared. “When I walked in and met John and Vanda, I could see the worry and concern in their faces and was thankful we could help.”
A world leader in glaucoma care, Dr. Vold is on the cutting edge of MIGS procedures. In September of 2016, Dr. Vold became the first surgeon in the United States to perform the new glaucoma CyPass Micro-Stent procedure, after its approval by the Food and Drug Administration. The goal of any glaucoma surgery is to lower eye pressure and to prevent or reduce damage to the optic nerve. The MIGS procedures are also proving helpful in reducing glaucoma patients’ dependency on drops, something John was excited about. “My drops were painful and really burned my eyes. Since the Cypass, I haven’t had to use them anymore, and that has been a wonderful thing.”
Having his glaucoma under control allows John and Vanda to breath a bit easier these days, and given John’s 20/15 vision from cataract surgery, he is also enjoying his active lifestyle. “My world had become less and less out of focus,” John said. “My glaucoma and cataracts were stealing my quality of life. It feels great to have my vision back that’s for sure.”
John and Vanda continue to make the drive from Clarksville, Arkansas to see Dr. Vold and stay on top of John’s condition. “One thing I know about Dr. Vold is he loves what he does. It’s not just a job for him. It’s personal,” John said. “I am a very active person, so my eye-sight is everything. I tell everyone I know who even thinks they may have glaucoma to go see him. What he has done for us is a tremendous blessing.”
Happy To Be Alive!
By all accounts, 2017 has been a challenging time for Linda Lindley. She has undergone five different surgeries, lost her sight in one eye, and had a near death experience. The Vold Vision team first entered Linda’s story on March 29th. She had travelled from Joplin, Missouri after being referred to Dr. Steven Vold. The glaucoma in her right eye had gotten to a desperate state, and she had lost total vision. In fact, she had been told she would never regain her sight back in that eye. When Linda arrived at Vold Vision, her intra ocular pressure (IOP) in her right eye was at 58. A healthy IOP is between 10 and 21. Dr. Vold believed he could regain some of her vision, but Linda would need emergency surgery.
Arriving the next morning for emergency surgery, Linda had a lot of fear. “I just kept hanging on to the thought of recovering some of my sight back,” she said. Dr. Vold, a nationally recognized glaucoma surgeon is accustomed to complicated surgeries. “When I saw Linda, I knew we needed to act quickly,” Dr. Vold said. “The moment I will never forget isn’t the surgery, but her post-operative exam the following morning. When she began reading the large letters, it was just tremendous. Being with someone the moment they get vision back is a special moment to share with a patient.”
While great progress had been made in Linda’s right eye the glaucoma in her left eye was progressing, and her cataract was greatly reducing her vision. Dr. Vold was suggesting a second surgery. “I knew I needed the surgery, but I was terrified,” Linda said. “I wanted to get the glaucoma under control, and I was wearing coke bottle glasses just to be able to see. I just kept thinking — what if something goes wrong.”
Heavy on Linda’s mind was her recent brush with death after a medical surgery. The words of the doctor telling her husband, “they weren’t sure she was going to make it,” kept ringing in her head. The morning of April 11th, Linda faced her fear and Dr. Vold performed her surgery. By the next day, her intraocular pressure was back in a healthy range, and she no longer needed her “coke bottle” glasses. In fact, she no longer needed glasses at all.
“God is good,” Linda shared. “That doesn’t mean you’re not going to go through hard times, but it does mean He will go through it with you. I think my faith is even stronger now.”