VCU Medical Center first in Virginia to implant telescope for macular degeneration

April 15, 2013
VCU Medical Center first in Virginia to implant telescope for macular degeneration
Smaller than a pea, the telescope implant uses wide-angle micro-optics to improve vision for patients with End-Stage AMD, the most advanced form of macular degeneration. Credit: The Implantable Miniature Telescope (By Dr. Isaac Lipshitz) is a product of VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies, Inc.

Physicians at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center have become the first in Virginia to successfully implant a telescope in a patient's eye to treat macular degeneration.

The telescope implant is designed to correct end-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most advanced form of AMD and the leading cause of blindness in older Americans. Patients with end-stage AMD have a central blind spot. This vision loss makes it difficult or impossible to see faces, to read and to perform everyday activities such as , preparing meals and self-care.

William H. Benson, M.D., a cornea specialist and chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at the VCU School of Medicine, performed the procedure.

"We are excited to provide this new surgical option to our advanced macular degeneration patients, who up until now have had limited options for improving vision," Benson said. "Advanced is a devastating disease, which cannot be treated by any available drugs or surgical procedures. The telescope implant offers a new hope for patients with limited vision."

Implantable telescope technology reduces the impact of the central vision blind spot due to end-stage AMD. The telescope implant projects the objects the patient is looking at onto the healthy area of the light-sensing retina not degenerated by the disease. Credit: The Implantable Miniature Telescope (By Dr. Isaac Lipshitz) is a product of VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies, Inc.

Smaller than a pea, the telescope implant uses micro- to magnify images that would normally be seen in one's "straight ahead" or central vision. The images are projected onto the healthy portion of the retina not affected by the disease, making it possible for patients to see or discern the object of interest.

The (By Dr. Isaac Lipshitz) is a product of VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies, Inc.

Explore further: New surgical implant restores some vision in patients with age-related macular degeneration

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