Manchester Royal Eye Hospital has become the first NHS hospital in the UK to offer a new telescope implant for end-stage age-related macular degeneration. Everywhere else in the UK it is only available in private hospitals.
Smaller than a pea, the implant uses a unique, micro-optical technology to magnify images approximately 3 times. The images are projected onto the healthy part of the retina, making it possible to again use the central vision.
As part of the treatment programme, CentraSight’s tiny telescope implant is placed in the eye via an operation similar to a cataract operation.
MREH is the second largest eye hospital in the UK. Mr Felipe Dhawahir-Scala, consultant ophthalmologist and vitreo-retinal surgeon at mreh, said: "This is a potentially life-changing option for people with end-stage AMD and we are proud to be the first NHS hospital to offer it. We chose to offer the telescope implant as it is backed up by data showing at least five years of sustained improvement in vision."
Cathy Yelf, chief executive of the Society, said: "It’s good news that this new lens implant will be available to some patients at an NHS hospital. Studies suggest it can improve vision and it should help improve their quality of life and enable them to cope with day to day activities. By 2020 almost 700,000 Britons will have late stage AMD. It is now the most common cause of sight loss in the country. It is important that we continue to fight for more funding for macular research because our ageing society means many more people are developing the condition.”