Centrasight Intraocular Telescope Improves Vision for Macular Degeneration

The implantable telescope for macular degeneration continues to be successful.

For the last few years we have talked about the implantable miniature telescope. This incredible devices has been used to give patients with end stage macular degeneration improved vision. Marc Levy, M.D.  has been involved with the telescope since the early FDA trials and is currently the only surgeon in our area preforming the surgery.

Implantable Telescope Improves Vision

Recently a long term study of patients with the telescope was completed and published. This study followed 129 patients over 5 years after implantation of the telescope. The results showed that most patients got significant improvement of vision at about 2 years after the telescope was placed, and this improvement appeared to continue for at least 5 years.

The study was used to by the FDA to allow all patients 65 and older with end stage macular degeneration to be eligible for the telescope. It is now the only FDA approved surgical device to treat most advanced forms of macular degeneration. With macular degeneration affecting over 15 million people in this country the telescope gives some hope to patients that are in the advanced stage of this disease.

What is the Implantable Telescope?

The implantable telescope, by CentraSight, is a tiny telescope inserted in the eye.  In qualified patients with macular degeneration, the telescope has successfully improved vision and the quality of life for its recipients.

The “telescope” projects images onto the retina outside of the degenerated macula.  The images are larger, perhaps 2.2x or 2.7x, and projected to the healthier retina near the macula.  This enlargement enables the less sensitive, but healthy, retinal tissue to replace central vision.

Qualifications for Implantable Telescope

To be a potential candidate, your eye doctor must confirm;

1.  You have End-Stage Macular Degeneration from either Wet or Dry AMD

2.  You no longer will need treatments such as anit-VEGF injections

3.  You have not had cataract surgery in the eye with AMD.

4.  You meet the age, vision and corneal health requirements.

If you or someone you know is affected with macular degeneration please contact our office for an evaluation at 941-921-5335.


Therapy for End Stage Age-Related Macular Degeneration

End stage age-related macular degeneration may result in several presentations. Those with the extreme form may have had extensive hemorrhaging both under the retina and into the central cavity of the eye, or may have chronic leakage from abnormal blood vessel, which can not be closed off by any of the current treatments.  In those cases, there is very little that can be offered in the way of improving vision or aiding the patient in maximizing the use of their remaining vision.

There are, however, patients with age-related macular degeneration who have significant loss of central vision, but have been stabilized through treatment or, are dry and progressing very slowly.  These patients, in the past, have benefited from low vision devices. Such devices included very strong reading glasses, magnifying glasses, loupes, telescopes, and closed circuit television.  Many of these devices were cumbersome and/or impossible to carry around and were not effective under certain lighting conditions.

To this end, a device has recently been FDA approved which will overcome many of the shortcomings of previous low vision devices.  This new addition, to the assist those with stabilized poor central vision, is the Implantable Miniature Telescope (IMT). However, not all patients with stable low vision will qualify for the use of this device.

What is the IMT?

The IMT is a very small telescope which is implanted inside the eye, similar to having an intraocular lens implant for those who have had cataract surgery.  The difference is that the IMT is a much larger implant than the intraocular lens used in routine cataract surgery, nor is it as flexible, so it can not be implanted, folded, through a small incision.  This consequently would require the use of sutures to close the eye and a somewhat longer post-operative recovery period.

Does the Use of the IMT Require Any Special Adjustment?

Unlike normal cataract surgery where vision is restored to “normal”, there is a difference in image size and visual field.  Before the surgery, every patient is placed through a “simulation trial” to determine if they can adjust to the “new vision”.  If they pass this trial and they still desire to have the IMT, the surgery is performed similar to cataract surgery, and usually, under local anesthesia.  But even after the surgery there is a period of visual rehabilitation training in order to achieve the full benefits of the IMT.

Are There Special Criteria to be Fulfilled?

Before a patient can be considered for the IMT, there are currently certain conditions which must be met.  These include:

  1.   ARMD which is irreversible, end stage, and stable
  2.   No longer on any drug therapy for ARMD
  3.   Have not had prior cataract surgery
  4.   Have a clear cornea with normal endothelial count
  5.   75 years of age or older
  6.   Best corrected vision between 20/80 and 20/800
  7.   Prior vision correction: less than -6.0 and less than +4.0

Where is the Surgery Being Performed?

Currently there will only be a select few practices within the United States which have been approved to do IMT surgery.

These facilities are multi-disciplinary and have been setup in such a manner that they have ophthalmologists who have experience in determining the eligibility criteria and performing the surgery, optometrists who are trained in low vision evaluation, and visual occupational rehabilitation therapists who are experienced in assisting patients in adapting to the use of the IMT.

For further information, inquire at:  Sarasotaretinainstitute.com