available in Orange County, the CentraSight™ treatment program
features the first ever telescope implant surgical treatment 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 telescope implant is integral to CentraSight,
a new patient care program. It 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.
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.
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.
first Orange County CentraSight Patient Treatment Program team
includes physicians of the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, Baruch
Kupperman, M.D., Ph.D
and Stephanie Lu, M.D., the retina specialists who coordinate
the treatment; Sumit “Sam” Garg,
M.D., and Marjan
Farid, M.D., the cornea surgeons who perform the surgery at
the UC Irvine Medical Center; and the MaryAnn Keverline Walls Low
Vision Center at the Southern California College of Optometry,
the low-vision specialists who coordinate the post-surgical therapy
for the patient.
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. If you are a patient that may be a candidate
or physician, please contact , Jeff Grijalva (714) 456-7741 to
schedule an appointment with our team.
CentraSight™ Frequently Asked Questions
What is AMD?
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease of the retina. End-Stage
AMD is the most advanced form of the disease and the leading cause of irreversible
vision loss and legal blindness in individuals over the age of 65.
In early, less advanced AMD, visual symptoms are generally mild
and may or may not impact vision-related activities. However, advanced
stages of AMD can result in severe loss of sight in the central
part of vision. This is often referred to as a central vision “blind
spot.” This blind spot is different than the visual disturbances
experienced with cataracts (clouding of the eye’s lens) and
is not correctable by cataract surgery or eyeglasses. Side vision,
or peripheral vision, is not affected by AMD, but is too low resolution
to make up for lost central vision. At this time, there is no cure
for End-Stage AMD and no way to reverse its effects.
What is CentraSight™ and the
The CentraSight treatment program uses a tiny telescope, an FDA-approved medical
device, which is implanted inside the eye to improve vision and quality of
life for individuals affected by End-Stage AMD.
The telescope implant, about the size of a pea, is intended to
improve distance and near vision in people who have lost central
vision in both eyes because of End-Stage AMD. The telescope implant
is surgically placed inside one eye. The implanted eye provides
central vision; the other eye provides peripheral vision.
The telescope implant is not a cure for End-Stage AMD. It will
not restore your vision to the level it was before you had AMD,
and it will not completely correct your vision loss. Patients with
this level of AMD have had to cease driving due to their vision;
after the telescope procedure, although near and distance vision
may improve, driving will not be possible because the implant does
not restore normal vision.
Am I a Candidate?
In general, to be considered a potential candidate for the telescope implant
an ophthalmologist must first confirm that you:
Have irreversible, End-Stage AMD resulting from either dry
or wet AMD
Are no longer a candidate for drug treatment of your AMD
Have not had cataract surgery in the eye in which the telescope
will be implanted
Meet age, vision, and cornea health requirements
After the ophthalmologist confirms that you are a potential candidate,
your vision will be tested using an external telescope simulator.
The results of the test and visual training/rehabilitation evaluation
visits will help you and your ophthalmologist decide if you are
likely to benefit from the CentraSight treatment program. If so,
the tests will also help you and your ophthalmologist discuss which
eye should be treated and what your vision may be like after the
The CentraSight treatment program involves four steps that start
with diagnosis and continue after surgery.
Step 1: Diagnosis
Step 2: Candidate Screening
Step 3: Surgical Procedure
Step 4: Learning to Use Your New Vision
A member of your CentraSight team is involved at each step of
the treatment. All CentraSight team members are highly qualified
professionals, with special training in the CentraSight treatment
program and the telescope implant technology. The following pages
explain what you can expect at each step of the program.
The telescope implant is not a cure that “sees” for
you. For the telescope implant to work for you, you will need
to work with low vision specialists as well as practice on your
own at home.
Recognizing faces of family and friends
Various hobbies like painting, knitting or gardening
Seeing a golf ball in flight
Never having to use a magnifying glass again
Visual goals can be assessed with an external telescope
simulation during pre-surgery screening visits.
Your ophthalmologist will describe the risks and benefits of the
telescope implant to you, including the risks of surgery.
Step 1: Diagnosis
CentraSight Team Member: Retina Specialist (Ophthalmologist)
To be considered as a possible candidate for the treatment, you
must first be examined by a retina specialist to confirm that you
have End-Stage AMD. This will involve a thorough medical eye examination
and a review of your medical history, including any conditions
that may make the procedure difficult for you or increase the likelihood
of complications. Your retina specialist will explain the benefits
and risks of the CentraSight treatment program and answer any questions
you may have.
Step 2: Candidate Screening
CentraSight Team Members: Retina Specialist, Low Vision
Low Vision Occupational Therapist
The screening includes several appointments and a low vision evaluation
performed by a low vision optometrist.
The candidate screening step includes testing your vision using
external telescope simulators. The results of these tests can help
give you and your CentraSight Team a good idea of what your vision
may be like after the telescope implantation surgery and if the
effect of the magnification in one eye will be useful to you. Low
vision providers will also talk to you about how your new vision
status may affect your everyday life and how following a visual
training/rehabilitation program after surgery will help you reach
your vision goals.
Step 3: Surgical Procedure
CentraSight Team Member: Cornea/Cataract Surgeon (Ophthalmologist)
The telescope implantation surgical procedure is performed on
only one eye. It involves removing the eye’s natural lens
and replacing it with the tiny telescope implant. The surgical
procedure is relatively short (1-1.5 hours) and is performed by
a specially trained ophthalmologist. You won’t have to stay
in a hospital and will return home the same day.
The telescope is virtually unnoticeable to others because it is
implanted totally inside the eye, and mostly covered by the colored
portion of the eye (iris).
What to Expect with the Surgical Procedure
Before the Surgery Before the surgery, your surgeon will take your medical
history and check the health of both of your eyes. You should let
your surgeon know if you take any medication or have any allergies.
Be sure to discuss all your questions with your surgeon before
scheduling your surgery. You will need to arrange for transportation
to and from your surgery appointment.
Day of Surgery
The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and generally takes 1-1.5
The surgery involves several steps:
Your eye will be numbed at the beginning of the procedure so
you will not feel any pain
Special eye drops will be administered to temporarily enlarge
The surgeon will remove your eye’s natural lens
The telescope implant will be placed in the same position where
the natural lens was located
The surgical incision will be sutured closed
If your surgeon is unable to implant the telescope during surgery,
he or she will implant a standard intraocular lens (IOL), as in
any procedure for cataract removal.
After the Surgery
After surgery, you will have follow-up visits with your surgeon. You will have
to take eye drops for several weeks.
You should expect a gradual improvement in your vision
of the treated eye to occur over a period of time, ranging from
weeks to months.
If you are found to be a candidate, your surgeon will provide
you more detailed information about the procedure and potential
Step 4: Learning To Use Your New Vision
CentraSight Team Members: Low Vision Optometrist, Low
Vision Occupational Therapist
After you have recovered from surgery, specially trained low vision
optometrists and occupational therapists will work with you to
prescribe eyeglasses and complete your rehabilitation to help you
adapt and learn how to use your new vision in daily life. They
will work with you on an individualized plan over several weeks
to reach your personal goals.
What are the Benefits of the Telescope
The effectiveness of the telescope implant has been demonstrated in FDA approved
In results from a survey in the FDA clinical trial, patients who
received the telescope implant generally reported that they were
less dependent on others, less frustrated and worried about their
vision, less limited in their ability to see, and better able to
visit with others and recognize facial expressions/reactions. Overall,
the survey findings showed patients had a clinically important
improvement in quality of life.1
An FDA study found that nine
out of ten patients with the telescope implant improved vision
by at least two lines on the eye chart.1
What are the Risks of the Telescope
As with any medical intervention, potential risks and complications exist with
the telescope implant.
The most common risks of the telescope surgery include inflammatory
deposits on the device and increased pressure in the eye. Significant
adverse events include corneal swelling, corneal transplant, and
decrease in visual acuity. There is a risk that having the telescope
implantation surgery could worsen your vision rather than improve
it. Individual results may vary. You should talk to your doctor
about these and other potential risks to find out if the telescope
implant is right for you. Additional information can be found at www.CentraSight.com.