MILWAUKEE — Glaucoma is a common and chronic disease that affects a person’s vision. There are several ways of treating glaucoma, but there’s an innovative new option for patients that reduces eye pressure, and a Milwaukee eye surgeon is one of the few in the area trained to do the procedure.Karen Goodstein loves to travel. She and her husband Aaron have traveled all over the world, but it was a trip to the eye doctor that took Goodstein down an untraveled path.During a routine eye exam, Goodstein's doctor revealed she had glaucoma. "It was scary," Goodstein said. Goodstein had no idea anything was wrong. She didn't have any symptoms. "I really had no idea what it was until my eye doctor told me my pressure was too high," Goodstein said. Goodstein's eyesight was in jeopardy, which would make day-to-day tasks difficult. "I would have lost my peripheral vision, which means I would have not been able to drive and not been able to see very well," Goodstein said. In addition to the glaucoma, Goodstein developed a cataract, which compromised her vision even more. However, the new development made her a candidate for a new option only one Milwaukee doctor could offer.

Goodstein connected with Dr. Nicholas Frame at Milwaukee Eye Care Associates. Dr. Frame is an ophthalmologist who specializes in glaucoma treatment. 

IN THIS STORY

  • Learn more about Dr. Nicholas Frame
  • Learn more about the iStent

 

"Glaucoma is a group of diseases that are characterized by damage to the nerve of the eye," Dr. Frame explained. "It's a chronic disease that's extremely common."

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Dr. Nicholas Frames performs an eye exam on Karen Goodstein

One of the reasons Dr. Frame chose his specialty was because he didn't just see his patients during eye surgeries. His specialty offered him the ability to make a real connection.

"I really like the aspect of kind of that chronic relationship. You know, treating someone over the long-term," Dr. Frame said.

It's one of the reasons Dr. Frame became the first eye surgeon in Milwaukee to be certified in a new advanced glaucoma procedure.

"'I just wanted to make sure I`m on top of the technology for the patients," Dr. Frame said.

The treatment option is called the iStent. istent5

The iStent is a microscopic device that is permanently placed in a glaucoma patient's eye.

"It`s the smallest device approved for implantation in the human body," Dr. Frame said.

The titanium stent is inserted to relieve pressure. Dr. Frame compares the device to a snorkel.

"It basically fits snugly in the eye`s natural drainage canal," Dr. Frame explained, "The mouth piece of the snorkel, if you will, goes into the main chamber of the eye, so that allows more fluid to flow through there and that in turn helps lower the pressure."

The stent is smaller than a number on a penny, but it was a huge impact for patients with mild or moderate glaucoma.

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"The iStent is something that I like to offer to my patients because it`s low-risk and it gives that pressure control," Dr. Frame said.

When Dr. Frame offered Goodstein the chance to get the iStent procedure, she didn't hesitate.

"Let's do it!" Goodstein recalled telling Dr. Frame.

Now, two years after having the iStent inserted, Goodstein's eyes are healthy.

"It has been very stable for her. She`s done very well," Dr. Frame said.

"My pressure is lower than it`s ever ever been," Goodstein said.

Goodstein said it's something that may have never happened if it wasn't for the iStent option and Dr. Frame.

"I think he walks on a water," Goodstein said.

Goodstein said she's happy with her experience with Dr. Frame, which is good because they'll be seeing each other for a while.

"Karen — she's going to see me probably every month or so, you know, forever," Dr. Frame said.

Right now, the iStent is only available to patients who are getting cataract surgery. But Dr. Frame said he sees it expanding to other glaucoma patients in the future.

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