Do I qualify for Implantable Miniature Telescope for AMD? - A State of Sight #96

The Implantable Miniature Telescope from VisionCare is an advanced treatment for end-stage macular degeneration. There are many qualifications for this device to ensure that it is used in patients who may benefit from the technology.

Watch this episode of A State of Sight with Isaac Porter, MD to learn more about the IMT and who may be a candidate.

Some of the basic qualifications include:
- Age 65 and older
- End-stage macular degeneration in both eyes
- Vision 20/160 to 20/800
- No previous cataract surgery in the eye to receive the telescope

Learn more about the IMT in episode #70 of A State of Sight:

Welcome to A State of Sight. I’m Isaac Porter and this is your update in ophthalmology and eye care from Raleigh.
Today I would like to explain the qualifications for patients who may be able to have the Implantable Miniature Telescope for macular degeneration. If you look back to episode #70 of A State of Sight, we explain some of the basics about this technology. This is helpful patients that have end-stage macular degeneration because it magnifies images and effectively makes the size of their blind spot in the center of their vision smaller.
Recently you may have heard that this telescope is now approved by the FDA for patients 65 and older. Previously the FDA only approved this for ages 75 and up. This now gives a chance for more patients that may benefit from the telescope the chance to receive it.
The qualifications are pretty strict because this is a very advanced device and not everyone who has macular degeneration may benefit from it. Some of the key criteria to qualify are:
  1. Patients cannot have had cataract surgery in the eye that we are planning to place the telescope. We need to remove the cataract, which is the lens inside the eye, to make room for the telescope. If they have already had cataract surgery we are unable to take out that lens implant at this time and put the telescope in that location.
You may know a lot of people that are older that have already had cataract surgery so unfortunately they do not qualify for the telescope.
  1. We have to make sure that the macular degeneration is not wet or not currently active with bleeding or swelling for the past 6 months. Patients may have old wet macular degeneration that was treated in the past with laser or with injections in the eye, as long as they are stable.
Other people who have dry macular degeneration may qualify as well.
In order to make sure that people qualify, it’s a very extensive process. We have assembled a team here in Raleigh and there are teams throughout the country. These teams include:
  • A corneal surgeon like myself.
  • A retinal specialist to make sure that the macular degeneration is the cause of their vision loss and that it’s no longer active.
  • A low vision specialist who will help to check the patients vision with a telescope simulator to ensure they can adapt to the telescope.
  • An occupational therapist who mainly checks to see if they can get around safely and deal with difference between the two eyes after the telescope is placed.
If you have any other questions or wonder if you or someone in your family qualifies, please post we will be happy to answer them and hope we see you again next time on A State of Sight.