HAMBURG — The Argus II retinal implant was successfully implanted this year in two patients in Saudi Arabia at the King Khaled Eye Specialist Hospital, a speaker here said.
“Both patients presented and advanced form of retinitis pigmentosa (RP), and are now progressing very well,” Fernando J. Arevalo, MD, said at the Euretina meeting.
The patients were one man and one woman and had the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System (Second Sight Medical Products) implanted in one eye. Average length of surgery was 3 hours. Surgery was uneventful, and no device-related or serious adverse events were reported.
Stanislao Rizzo, MD, the first surgeon worldwide to implant the Argus II, assisted during the procedures.
After surgery, patients attended rehabilitation sessions and are now able to detect doors along a corridor, follow ceiling lights and detect and avoid obstacles.
“They can recognize the presence of people in front of them and are able to detect buildings outside, as well as flowers in grass areas. They are very happy patients,” Arevalo said.
As research on the implant progresses, upgraded performances in the processes of visual information are expected in the future.
“We expect future upgraded models to give patients the ability to see faces and color, to allow 3D vision and night vision,” Arevalo said.
“Expanded indications should also allow earlier intervention in RP patients with better vision, and potential applications in AMD patients and other forms of retinal degeneration leading to blindness,” Arevalo said.
Disclosure: Arevalo has no relevant financial disclosures.