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 55.

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 spectacles. Side vision, or peripheral vision, is not affected by AMD, but the resolution is too low to make up for lost central vision without accompanying high magnification.

At this time, there is no cure for End-Stage AMD and no way to reverse its effects.

Macular Degeneration
Lost central vision through macula degeneration

What is CentraSight® and the Telescope Implant?

The CentraSight treatment programme uses a tiny telescope, a CE Marked medical device, which is implanted inside the eye to improve vision and quality of life for individuals affected by End-Stage AMD.

The Implantable Miniature Telescope (by Dr. Isaac Lipshitz), 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.

Mr. Menachem Salasnik, our Low Vision and Geriatric Specialist, is one of a team of specialists who together ensure that candidates are selected appropriately, undergo the implantation successfully and are trained and rehabilitated so that they can use their new level of vision to the maximum. 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 programme and the Implantable Telescope Technology.

Implantable Miniature Telescope
The Implantable Miniature Telescope

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

• Meet age, vision, and cornea health requirements

• Have not had cataract surgery in the eye in which the telescope will be implanted.

(Please note: Under certain specific circumstances, telescope implantation may be considered even if cataract surgery has previously been successfully carried out).

After the ophthalmologist confirms that you are a potential candidate and describes the risks and benefits of the telescope implant to you, including the risks of surgery, you will be invited to Barnard Levit Optometrists where Mr. Salasnik will test your vision using an external telescope simulator which gives an indication as to how the vision will improve after implantation. The results of this and other crucial examinations that are carried out during the appointment will help you and your ophthalmologist decide if you are likely to benefit from the CentraSight treatment programme and which of your two eyes should be treated.

Visual goals will be assessed with an external telescope simulation during your visit.

Some Realistic Goals:                                                                                                    

  • Recognising faces of family and friends                         
  • Watching television
  • Reading
  • Various hobbies like painting, knitting or gardening

Some Unrealistic Goals:

  • Driving
  • Seeing a golf ball in flight
  • Playing tennis
  • Never having to use a magnifying glass again

Please Note: The telescope implant is not a cure that “sees” for you.  For the telescope implant to work for you, you will need to train with Mr. Salasnik after the implantation as well as practise on your own at home.

Additional information can be found at www.en.CentraSight.com or by calling CentraSight’s dedicated freephone number 0800 002 999 where a CentraSight Information Specialist is available to answer any questions you may have.

The CentraSight treatment programme involves four steps that start with candidacy and continue after surgery. Continue reading to find out what you can expect at each step of the programme.

implantable miniature telescope
The telescope implant projects the object the patient is looking at onto the healthy area of the retina not degenerated by the disease

Step 1: Candidacy

Step 2: Preparation

Step 3: Treatment

Step 4: Visual Rehabilitation

Step 1: Candidacy

CentraSight Team Member: Ophthalmologist

To be considered as a possible candidate for the treatment, you must first be examined by an ophthalmologist 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 ophthalmologist will explain the benefits and risks of the CentraSight treatment programme and answer any questions you may have.

Step 2: Preparation

CentraSight Team Member: Mr. Menachem Salasnik - Low Vision Optometrist

The preparation stage includes a low vision consultation and a subsequent interview by phone.

The candidate preparation 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. Mr. Salasnik will also talk to you about how your new vision status may affect your everyday life and how following a visual training/rehabilitation programme after surgery will help you reach your vision goals.

Step 3: Treatment

CentraSight Team Member: Cornea/Vitreoretinal Surgeon

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 eye surgeon. You won’t have to stay in hospital overnight 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 coloured portion of the eye (iris).

What to Expect with the Surgical Procedure

Before the Surgery

Before the surgery, your eye 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 hours.

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 your pupil

• 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 stitched 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 with more detailed information about the procedure and potential risks.

Step 4: Visual Rehabilitation

CentraSight Team Member: Mr. Menachem Salasnik - Low Vision Optometrist

After you have recovered from surgery, Mr. Salasnik who is specially trained in low vision and post implantation rehabilitation will work with you to prescribe spectacles and complete your rehabilitation to help you adapt and learn how to use your new vision in daily life. He will work with you on an individualised plan over several visits to reach your personal goals.


What are the Benefits of the Telescope Implant?

The effectiveness of the telescope implant has been demonstrated in FDA approved studies.

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 others and recognise 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 Implant?

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 ophthalmologist about these and other potential risks to find out if the telescope implant is right for you. Additional information can be found at www.en.CentraSight.com or by calling CentraSight’s dedicated freephone number 0800 002 9998.

If you would like to fill out a patient eligibility form please visit: http://en.centrasight.com/candidacy_guide_questions




1. Hudson HL, et al. Ophthalmology. 2006.