VisionCare increases provider locations for implantation of the CentraSight telescope for macular degeneration. The telescope, indicated for patients with end stage (advanced) macular, was FDA approved last fall for use in selected patients suffering from the blinding disease.
The device and implantation is covered by Medicare for those who meet certain criteria. The CentraSight Treatment program includes pre-operative evaluation and diagnosis and post-operative care.
For you to be considered a candidate, general guidelines include;
Possible candidates must have an evaluation with a retina specialist to confirm the diagnosis of macular degeneration (ARMD) and to determine if alternative treatments are possible.
Candidates will have the natural lens removed and replaced with the miniature CentraSight telescope. The procedure is very similar to the “remove and replace” sequence of cataract surgery where the natural lens is removed and replaced with an artificial implant.
After the operation, unlike cataract surgery, training is necessary to teach you how to learn and adapt with your new “vision.” Unlike cataract surgery, usually performed in patients with a healthy retina, vision is improved, yet different.
The telescope works much like a magnifier. The resultant image focused on the retina is enlarged, making the area damaged by ARMD relatively smaller. There is a patient education video on CentraSight.
What Does This Mean?
Many patients have been anxiously awaiting the news. As a provider, I am hopeful to learn more about this from both doctors and patients. As with anything new, caution should be exercised in terms of managing your expectations.
I am most interested to see how much “learning” is required after the operation. I would recommend viewing the CentraSight telescope as a low-vision aid. My experience with low-vision aids and patients’ appreciation is that the patient must be motivated.
Low vision aids require work to re-learn how to perform routine tasks and I have found unmotivated patients don’t respond well.