KOLOA, Hawaii — The Implantable Miniature Telescope is intended to improve quality of life for patients with advanced age-related macular degeneration, but who have no visual improvement options, a speaker said here at the Hawaiian Eye meeting.
“The telescope essentially provides central magnification,” Marjan Farid, MD, Director of Cornea, Cataract and Refractive Surgery and Vice Chair of Clinical Ophthalmology, at Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, said of the Implantable Miniature Telescope (VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies), which was FDA approved in 2010 for use in patients with advanced macular degeneration.
In early FDA multicenter trials of 217 patients, corrected distance visual acuity improved by at least two lines in 90% of patients, Farid said, but there is a tradeoff in that the implant restricts peripheral vision in the implanted eye. Patients must have profound decrease in vision in both eyes, but only one eye is implanted with the device, Farid said. The second eye is used for peripheral vision. Patients also must have a deep anterior chamber, because the implant is large, and they must have good corneal health.
“Patient selection was key in these cases, and it is still key in the success of this technology,” Farid said. Potential patients undergo a process that determines whether they are viable candidates and whether they are motivated for postoperative visual rehabilitation and ongoing occupational therapy.
“It takes a lot of patient determination and motivation to make this work,” Farid said. The benefit in quality of life is that patients gain enlarged central vision and can recognize faces, watch television and read large print, Farid said. —by Patricia Nale
Disclosure: Farid receives consultant fees from Abbot Medical Optics.