SOURCE: CentraSight

CentraSight

June 25, 2012 15:07 ET

The Gavin Herbert Eye Institute at UCI Successfully Implants FDA-Approved CentraSight Telescope for Macular Degeneration

IRVINE, CA--(Marketwire - Jun 25, 2012) - Dr. Sumit "Sam" Garg, cornea surgeon at UC Irvine Health's Gavin Herbert Eye Institute successfully implanted a tiny telescope in a patient's eye with end-stage macular degeneration (AMD). The first Orange County patient received a telescope implant late last year by fellow cornea surgeon Dr. Marjan Farid. The Gavin Herbert Eye Institute at UC Irvine is the only academic institution in Southern California currently implanting the mini telescope for end-stage AMD

"Through our participation in the clinical trials, we know the impact the telescope technology can have on a patient's life. We are excited to finally be able to offer this technology on a broader basis and to be one of the first provider teams in the area to help these patients improve their vision and achieve a greater quality of life," says Dr. Garg, cornea surgeon at UC Irvine Medical Center and Vice Chair of Clinical Ophthalmology at The Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, who performed the most recent surgery on a 94-year old patient.

The first-of-kind telescope implant is integral to CentraSight™, a new patient care program for treating patients with end-stage age-related macular degeneration, the most advanced form of AMD and the leading cause of blindness in older Americans. The FDA approved implant is the only medical/surgical option that improves visual acuity by reducing the impact of the central vision blind spot caused by end-stage AMD. The cost is covered by Medicare.

Smaller than a pea, the telescope implant uses micro-optical technology to magnify images which 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.

Patients with end-stage AMD have a central blind spot. This vision loss makes it difficult or impossible to see faces, read, and perform everyday activities such as watching TV, preparing meals, and self-care. The telescope implant has been demonstrated in clinical trials to improve quality of life by improving patients' vision so they can see the things that are important to them, increase their independence, and re-engage in everyday activities. It also may help patients in social settings as it may allow them to recognize faces and see the facial expressions of family and friends.

The CentraSight treatment program is generally coordinated by retina specialists who treat macular degeneration and other back-of-the-eye disorders. The treatment program focuses on comprehensive patient care, requiring prospective patients to undergo medical, visual, and functional evaluation to determine if they may be a good candidate. A unique aspect of the evaluation is the ability to simulate, prior to surgery, what a person may expect to see once the telescope is implanted to determine if the possible improvement will meet the patient's expectations. Post-implantation, the patient will learn how to use their new vision in everyday activities by working with a low-vision therapy specialist.

As with any medical intervention, potential risks and complications exist with the telescope implant. Possible side effects include decreased vision or vision impairing corneal swelling. The risks and benefits associated with the telescope implant are discussed in the Patient Information Booklet available at www.CentraSight.com

Patients and physicians can find more information about the telescope implant and related treatment program at www.CentraSight.com or by calling 1-877-99SIGHT.

About CentraSight
CentraSight is the first-ever telescope implant for 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 or missing area in their vision that makes it difficult or impossible to see faces, read, and perform everyday activities.

The CentraSight Treatment Program allows patients to see again by implanting a tiny telescope in the eye in an outpatient procedure, then coordinating with vision specialists to help the patient learn how to use their new vision for everyday activities.

About The Gavin Herbert Eye Institute
At UC Irvine Health's Gavin Herbert Eye Institute and Department of Ophthalmology, our faculty of internationally recognized physicians, surgeons and scientists provide highly specialized training to future ophthalmologists, access to leading-edge clinical trials as well as sight-saving treatments and therapies for virtually any eye disorder. 

Eye surgeons, stem cell researchers, geneticists, infectious disease specialists and engineers are working on technologies and treatments for macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, corneal disease and cataracts as well as a vaccine to prevent eye and genital herpes infections. These efforts have vaulted UC Irvine School of Medicine into the top echelons of U.S. institutions receiving National Institutes of Health grants for vision research.

About the University of California, Irvine

Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. Orange County's second-largest employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $4 billion. For more UCI news, visit www.today.uci.edu.

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