DR. STEVEN VOLD CHOSEN AS FIRST SURGEON IN COUNTRY FOR GROUNDBREAKING GLAUCOMA SURGERY
Razorback Coaches Wife, Michelle Smith First Person In U.S. to Receive Hydrus® Microstent
Michelle Smith moved to Northwest Arkansas expecting to learn how to call the HOGS, when her husband Mark was named as the Arkansas Razorback Football Defensive Backs Coach, but she had no idea the move would lead to her being the first person in the United States to receive one the most advanced treatments in glaucoma care, the Hydrus® Microstent. Michelle’s new glaucoma sub-specialist, Dr. Steven Vold of Vold Vision in Northwest Arkansas, was chosen as the first surgeon in the country to implant the device after its approval by the FDA in August 2018, and together they are launching a campaign to raise awareness for glaucoma.
Monumental Day At Vold Vision and for Patients Glaucoma Patients Across the country
Known as, “the silent thief of sight,” as there are often no warning signs or symptoms, glaucoma is also a hereditary disease. Although her mother has the disease, Michelle didn’t consider she might until diagnosed during her most recent pregnancy. Since then, the mother of three has taken all of her children to be tested, and unfortunately found one of them is experiencing high intra ocular pressure (IOP), a finding that is considered a risk factor of glaucoma. “Having a chronic disease, especially one that can take your sight, is a scary thing, especially when you know it can also impact your children” Michelle shared. “Knowing technology like this is being developed gives me hope for myself, my kids, and the millions of Americans who are on this glaucoma journey. If I can help one person or one mom catch this early in their family, that would be so meaningful to me,” she stated.
Hydrus® Microstent is the size of eyelash
Roughly the size of an eyelash, this new minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) device is one of the most studied to date. With more than 4,000 cases treated globally in patients with a wide range of disease severities, the device is designed to reduce eye pressure by reestablishing the patient’s natural outflow pathway (known as Schlemm’s canal) through which fluid (called aqueous humor) exits the eye. The FDA approved the Hydrus for use in conjunction with catract surgery.
“During its pivotal FDA research trial, the Hydrus demonstrated possibly the most impressive efficacy and safety profiles of any new trabecular bypass MIGS procedure to date,” stated Dr. Steven Vold, chief medical officer at Vold Vision. “I implanted this device the first time over six years ago, and I have been excited for this day since that time. Glaucoma is a tough disease for patients. What this procedure brings is extremely low patient risk, complete ease of implantation, and amazingly rapid recovery while delivering outstanding, sustained control of eye pressures for our glaucoma patients.”
It is estimated that over 3 million Americans have glaucoma, but only half of those know they have it. Sadly, all too many persons with glaucoma lose over 90% of their vision before even realizing they have a problem. This is why screening is so important.
“As eyecare professionals we have to keep pushing to provide the absolute best care for these patients. We owe that to them,” Dr. Vold stated. “The Hydrus potentially represents a truly landmark innovation and tremendous step forward in our ability to manage glaucoma. I have been waiting for such a special day like this for a long, long time.”