08:38am Thursday 21 September 2017

VCU Medical Center First in Virginia to Implant Telescope for Macular Degeneration

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.

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.

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 watching television, 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.

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.

“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 macular degeneration 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.”

Smaller than a pea, the telescope implant uses micro-optical technology 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 central vision object of interest.

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

About VCU and the VCU Medical Center

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 222 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-six of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University compose the VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see www.vcu.edu.

Eric Peters
University Public Affairs
804-828-0563


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