Dr. Sumit "Sam" Garg, cornea surgeon at UC Irvine Health's Gavin

Herbert Eye Institute successfully implanted a tiny telescope in a

patient's eye with end-stage macular degeneration (AMD). The first

Orange County patient received a telescope implant late last year by

fellow cornea surgeon Dr. Marjan Farid. The Gavin Herbert Eye

Institute at UC Irvine is the only academic institution in Southern

California currently implanting the mini telescope for end-stage


"Through our participation in the clinical trials, we know the impact

the telescope technology can have on a patient's life. We are excited

to finally be able to offer this technology on a broader basis and to

be one of the first provider teams in the area to help these patients

improve their vision and achieve a greater quality of life," says Dr.

Garg, cornea surgeon at UC Irvine Medical Center and Vice Chair of

Clinical Ophthalmology at The Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, who

performed the most recent surgery on a 94-year old patient.

The first-of-kind telescope implant is integral to


a new patient care program for treating patients with end-stage

age-related macular degeneration, the most advanced form of AMD and

the leading cause of blindness in older Americans. The FDA approved

implant is the only medical/surgical option that improves visual

acuity by reducing the impact of the central vision blind spot caused

by end-stage AMD. The cost is covered by Medicare.

Smaller than a pea, the telescope implant uses micro-optical

technology to magnify images which would normally be seen in one's

"straight ahead" or central, vision. The images are projected onto the

healthy portion of the retina not affected by the disease, making it

possible for patients to see or discern the central vision object of


Patients with end-stage AMD have a central blind spot. This vision

loss makes it difficult or impossible to see faces, read, and perform

everyday activities such as watching TV, preparing meals, and

self-care. The telescope implant has been demonstrated in clinical

trials to improve quality of life by improving patients' vision so

they can see the things that are important to them, increase their

independence, and re-engage in everyday activities. It also may help

patients in social settings as it may allow them to recognize faces

and see the facial expressions of family and friends.

The CentraSight treatment


is generally coordinated by retina specialists who treat macular

degeneration and other back-of-the-eye disorders. The treatment

program focuses on comprehensive patient care, requiring prospective

patients to undergo medical, visual, and functional evaluation to

determine if they may be a good candidate. A unique aspect of the

evaluation is the ability to simulate, prior to surgery, what a person

may expect to see once the telescope is implanted to determine if the

possible improvement will meet the patient's expectations.

Post-implantation, the patient will learn how to use their new vision

in everyday activities by working with a low-vision therapy


As with any medical intervention, potential risks and complications

exist with the telescope implant. Possible side effects include

decreased vision or vision impairing corneal swelling. The risks and

benefits associated with the telescope implant are discussed in the

Patient Information Booklet available at

Patients and physicians can find more information about the telescope

implant and related treatment program at

or by calling 1-877-99SIGHT.

About CentraSightCentraSight is the first-ever telescope implant for

end-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most advanced

form of AMD and the leading cause of blindness in older Americans.

Patients with end-stage AMD have a central blind spot or missing area

in their vision that makes it difficult or impossible to see faces,

read, and perform everyday activities.

The CentraSight Treatment Program allows patients to see again by

implanting a tiny telescope in the eye in an outpatient procedure,

then coordinating with vision specialists to help the patient learn

how to use their new vision for everyday activities.

About The Gavin Herbert Eye InstituteAt UC Irvine Health's Gavin

Herbert Eye


and Department of Ophthalmology, our faculty of internationally

recognized physicians, surgeons and scientists provide highly

specialized training to future ophthalmologists, access to

leading-edge clinical trials as well as sight-saving treatments and

therapies for virtually any eye disorder.

Eye surgeons, stem cell researchers, geneticists, infectious disease

specialists and engineers are working on technologies and treatments

for macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, corneal

disease and cataracts as well as a vaccine to prevent eye and genital

herpes infections. These efforts have vaulted UC Irvine School of

Medicine into the top echelons of U.S. institutions receiving National

Institutes of Health grants for vision research.

About the University of California, Irvine

Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research,

scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake

since 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University

of California system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate

students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. Orange County's

second-largest employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of

$4 billion. For more UCI news, visit