Implantable Miniature Telescope

The Zion Eye Institute in St. George, Utah is excited to let you know about a new option for treating patients with end-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD). An innovative, FDA-approved, telescope implant is now available for patients that meet eligibility criteria, to treat the most advanced form of AMD in which both eyes have lost central vision. The first-of-kind telescope implant is an integral  part of  the CentraSight® treatment program (, a new comprehensive patient care program that is now being offered at Zion Eye Institute in St. George, Utah. The Zion Eye Institute is the first and only eye surgery center in southern Utah to offer the Implantable Miniature Telescope.
The telescope implant is a revolutionary medical/surgical option that improves visual acuity by reducing the impact of the central vision blind spot caused by end-stage AMD. The CentraSight program combines ophthalmology with low vision optometric and visual rehabilitation care to optimize visual benefits and integrate the new vision into functional activities. The implant is FDA-approved and Medicare reimburses the procedure, including the implant.

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 60.

In early, less advanced AMD, visual symptoms are generally mild and may or may not impact visionrelated 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 eyeglasses. Side vision, or peripheral vision, is not affected by AMD, but is too low resolution to make up for lost central vision. At this time, there is no cure for End-Stage AMD and no way to reverse its effects.

What is CentraSight® and the Telescope Implant?

implantable-miniature-telescope-dixie-osThe CentraSight treatment program uses a tiny telescope, an FDA-approved medical device, which is implanted inside the eye to improve vision and quality of life for individuals affected by End-Stage AMD. The telescope implant, 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.

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
  • Have not had cataract surgery in the eye in which the telescope will be implanted
  • Meet age, vision, and cornea health requirements

After the ophthalmologist confirms that you are a potential candidate, your vision will be tested using an external telescope simulator. The results of the test and visual training/rehabilitation evaluation visits will help you and your ophthalmologist decide if you are likely to benefit from the CentraSight treatment program. If so, the tests will also help you and your ophthalmologist discuss which eye should be treated and what your vision may be like after the treatment.

Call Zion Eye Institute today to see if this procedure is right for you.

Additional information can be found

The CentraSight treatment program involves four steps that start with diagnosis and continue after surgery.

Step 1: Diagnosis

Step 2: Candidate Screening

Step 3: Surgical Procedure

Step 4: Learning to Use Your New Vision

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 program and the telescope implant technology. The following pages explain what you can expect at each step of the program.

The telescope implant is not a cure that “sees” for you. For the telescope implant to work for you, you will need to work with low vision specialists as well as practice on your own at home.

Realistic Goals:

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

Unrealistic Goals:

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

Visual goals can be assessed with an external telescope simulation during pre-surgery screening visits. Your ophthalmologist will describe the risks and benefits of the telescope implant to you, including the risks of surgery.