About the Implantable Miniature Telescope

After decades’ worth of research and development, the implantable miniature telescope (IMT) is now available to patients suffering from end-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Smaller than a pea, the FDA approved IMT is designed to improve visual acuity and reduce the impact of central vision loss. The IMT utilizes micro-optical technology to magnify images which are projected onto the healthy portion of the retina unaffected by AMD, making it possible for patients to see or discern the central vision object of interest.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following frequently asked questions provide information on End-Stage AMD, the most advanced form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and the CentraSight treatment program. It is important to understand that the telescope implant does not reverse or stop End-Stage AMD. It is intended to improve vision and quality of life for people with End-Stage AMD.

What is AMD (age-related macular degeneration)?

AMD is a condition of the eye that affects the central retina, or macula, located in the back of the eye. There are two forms of AMD: the “wet” form and the “dry” form. The “wet” form of the disease can cause fluid and blood to leak onto the macula. In the ‘dry’ form, the macula breaks down without any leakage of fluid. Both forms cause the macula to degenerate and can lead to End-Stage AMD in which there is significant permanent central vision loss.

How does AMD affect vision?

The macula is important to eyesight since it is the part of the eye responsible for detailed central or “straight ahead” vision. Although people with AMD rarely go completely blind because of this condition, they may find it difficult to read, recognize faces or colors, drive, and perform other everyday functions that require central vision.

What form of AMD can the telescope implant help?

The telescope implant is indicated for eligible patients who have End-Stage AMD, the most advanced form of AMD. Your ophthalmologist can tell you if you have End-Stage AMD.

How is End-Stage AMD different from earlier or milder forms of AMD?

In End-Stage AMD, the macula is degenerated in both eyes without any healthy macular areas left for detailed central vision. For the patient, there is no way to see around the central blind spot in their vision. In earlier or milder forms of AMD, visual symptoms may be minor and not necessarily impacting the individual’s ability to easily perform daily activities. Also, in less advanced forms of AMD, one eye may still have central vision or, in the case of wet AMD, drug treatments may help stabilize vision or offer some improvement.

How does the CentraSight treatment program help patients with End-Stage AMD?

The CentraSight treatment program uses a tiny telescope that is implanted inside the eye. The telescope implant is an FDA-approved medical device that works like a telephoto lens of a camera. Once implanted inside the eye, it magnifies images onto the healthy areas of the light-sensing retina to help improve central (straight ahead) vision.

What does the telescope look like in the eye? Can others see it?

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).

Are there other medical treatments available?

Unfortunately, there currently are no medical treatments available for patients with End-Stage AMD. External appliances worn outside the eye are used by some patients with End-Stage AMD in an attempt to improve vision, but these devices have practical limitations.

Does insurance cover the telescope implant?

Medicare plans are required by law to cover medically necessary procedures and services, but a coverage policy may not yet be in place in your area. As part of the CentraSight treatment program, candidate patients have access to informational reimbursement resources. Visit our insurance information page to learn more.

What are clinical trials?

A clinical trial is a study to test the safety and effectiveness of a new drug or medical device in patients. A physician supervises the research and follows a clinical protocol or study plan. Studies of new medical devices or new drugs also require approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.). Over 200 patients were studied in FDA clinical trials prior to approval of the telescope implant used in the CentraSight treatment program.

Where can I find patient safety information?

Patient safety information can be found in the Patient Information Booklet (pdf).