Telescopic Vision: Sarasota Patient First in Florida to Receive Telescope Implant for Macular Degeneration

Dr Levy in surgery I#7515D7This week, Cape Surgery Center was the site of a news conference to announce that Sarasota Memorial and Neuro-Ophthalmologist Marc H. Levy, MD, pictured, were the first hospital and surgeon in Florida to implant a new telescope prosthesis in a patient with end-stage macular degeneration.

Dr. Levy implanted the pea-sized telescope directly into the right eye of an 81-year-old Venice woman with severe vision loss due to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), in a little over an hour at Sarasota Memorial’s outpatient Cape Surgery Center Feb. 4.

AMD is a condition that affects mainly older people, damages the center of the retina (macula) and results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field. About 8 million people in the United States have AMD and nearly 2 million of them have significant vision loss, according to the National Eye Institute. It is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss and legal blindness in the US and often makes it difficult or impossible to recognize faces or perform daily tasks like reading or watching TV.

The new implant uses micro-optical technology to improve “straight ahead,” or central vision, Dr. Levy said. During surgery, the natural lens of the eye is removed and the telescope is inserted in its place. Working in conjunction with the cornea, the implant magnifies objects two to three times their normal size and projects the images beyond the scarred macula to the healthy part of the retina.

For more information about the device, click here.

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