This site is intended for health professionals only

Woman's sight saved from glaucoma

Revolutionary eye surgery aimed at stopping glaucoma has been performed on a person in the UK for the first time, it has emerged.

Mary McCall, 66, had a device fitted to her eye at the Cathedral Eye Clinic in Belfast, and the procedure has been dubbed the "millimetre miracle".

Mrs McCall had been slowly losing her eyesight to glaucoma, which is responsible for causing blindness in more than 67 million people around the world.

Weighing just 60 mcg, the titanium iStent is the smallest medical device ever to be implanted in the human body. It lowers eye pressure from a sensitive part at the back of the eye by draining fluid away, preventing the glaucoma illness.

Details of the operation were disclosed by Cathedral Eye Clinic consultant Colin Willoughby as National Glaucoma Awareness Week got under way.

Glaucoma is a progressive and irreversible illness caused when the optic nerve is damaged by a build-up of fluid. Patients begin to lose peripheral vision and can go blind. Mrs McCall will soon undergo the 15-minute procedure on her second eye.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

Cathedral Eye Clinic