Retina Institute of Hawaii’s Founder Nationally Recognized for “Bionic Eye”

June 25, 2014

Retina Institute of Hawaii’s Founder Nationally Recognized for “Bionic Eye”

Dr. Michael Bennett Only Private Sector Surgeon Selected Nationwide

HONOLULU, HAWAII – June 24, 2014

Dr. Michael Bennett MD, FACS, founder of The Retina Institute of Hawaii, has been named one of thirteen prestigious surgeons across the United States to conduct the procedure for the Argus® II Retinal Prosthesis System.  The Argus II (also called the “bionic eye”) is an implantable visual prosthetic and was selected in 2013 CNN’s Top 10, Time Magazine’s Best Inventions and in 2014 Cleveland Clinic’s Top 10 Medical Innovations.

Retina Institute is dedicated to patient care with the pursuit of all opportunities to help patients restore vision. Approved by the FDA in February of 2013, ophthalmologists began to implant the Argus II in U.S. patients in late 2013.  Enabling blind individuals to achieve greater independence, The Argus II can help patients see black-and-white images. To date, seventy-four patients have received the implant.

“Patients learn to interpret these visual patterns with their retinal implant. This allows the person to locate lights and windows and identify objects around them,” says Dr. Bennett. “We are very excited to be part of a unique, quality-of-life product that helps patients navigate through life more easily. We look forward to working with our local ophthalmologists and optometrists in identifying and working with those patients who qualify to receive this treatment option.”  Retina Institute has recently identified eight qualified patients for the procedure.

Implanting centers currently offer consultations to patients with retinitis pigmentosa (“RP”), a rare disease that destroys the photoreceptor cells in the eye’s retina. Retinitis pigmentosa is an inherited retinal degenerative disease that causes gradual loss of the light-sensitive retinal cells, resulting in slow but progressive vision loss.  The device is intended to provide electrical stimulation of the retina to induce visual perception in blind individuals. Medicare has agreed to cover the device procedure if a patient qualifies.

The doctors at Retina Institute of Hawaii have consistently been recognized for awards, including Best Doctors in the U.S., Best Doctors in Hawaii, Governor’s Innovation, Pacific Business News Business Award, and Retina Society Distinction Award. Visit or call (808) 955-0255 for a consultation.