SOURCE: CentraSight


November 16, 2015 17:05 ET

Sight Restoring Telescope Implant Technology Now Available in New Mexico for Patients With End-Stage Age-Related Macular Degeneration

ALBUQUERQUE, NM--(Marketwired - Nov 16, 2015) - Now available in New Mexico for the first time, the CentraSight® treatment program features the first-ever telescope implant surgical option for patients with End-Stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most advanced form of AMD and the leading cause of blindness in older Americans.

More than 15 million Americans are affected by some form of AMD. The number of Americans afflicted with macular degeneration is expected to double with the rapid aging of the U.S. population.

New Mexico CentraSight team members include retina Drs. John Pitcher, Mark Chiu, and Kamalesh Ramalya, who coordinate the treatment; cornea surgeons Drs. Greg Ogawa and Greg Himmel, who will perform the surgery at the Albuquerque Ambulatory Eye Surgery Center; and low-vision optometrist Dr. Michelle Cohen and occupational therapist, Judy Deinema, who will coordinate the post-surgical therapy for the patients.

Approximately 500 patients across the country have received the telescope implant to date, and the new team in New Mexico is one of 150 CentraSight teams in the U.S. No surgeries have been performed to date in New Mexico but local doctors are excited to bring this technology to their local communities.

"A substantial amount of work goes into screening and selecting the appropriate patients for this surgery. Prior to surgery, patients undergo extensive therapy, which trains their eye to use a telescopic magnifier. These patients also work closely with a low-vision specialist to help adapt to their new world after their surgery," said Dr. John Pitcher with Eye Associates of New Mexico.

End-stage AMD results in a loss of central vision, or blind spot, and is uncorrectable by glasses, drugs or cataract surgery. This blind spot makes it difficult or impossible for patients 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 for those with central vision loss in both eyes 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 telescope implant is FDA approved for patients age 65 and older, and is the only surgical option that improves visual acuity by reducing the impact of the central vision blind spot caused by end-stage AMD. The cost for the telescope implant and visits associated with the treatment program are Medicare eligible. Eligible candidates for the treatment must meet other indications for implantation as well. The device is integral to CentraSight (, a comprehensive patient care program.

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.

The telescope implant is not a cure for end-stage AMD. 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

About CentraSight

CentraSight is a first-of-kind treatment program that utilizes a tiny 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 low vision specialists to help the patient learn how to use their new vision for everyday activities.

VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies, the developer of the CentraSight telescope implant, recently published five-year study data that demonstrates the long-term effectiveness and safety of the telescope implant for macular degeneration in patients 65 and older. The data supports the October 2014 decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to expand the eligibility for the telescope implant to patients 65 and older. The telescope implant is the only FDA-approved, Medicare-eligible device to treat the most advanced form of AMD.

To find our more, please go to or call 1-877-99SIGHT.

Contact Information


    Jennifer Heinly
    J&J Consulting
    Email Contact