|The Lipshitz Macular Degeneration Implant (LMI) is a treatment that can be used for patients with dry or wet macular degeneration.|
1. Tell us about Dr. Lipshiptz, his background, his interest in macular degeneration and some of his credentials.
He is an ophthalmologist with over 30 years of experience. In the past, Dr. Lipshitz invented and developed the IMT (Implantable Miniaturized Telescope). Dr. Lipshitz gained experience in research and development, regulatory, engineering, medical and marketing aspects in the field of AMD.
He recently founded OptoLight Vision Technology, were he developed the LMI and the OriLens, both are intra ocular implants that are designed to assist macular degeneration patients.
Macular Degeneration Surgery
2. Explain what the LMI and the OriLens is and how they work. How do they improve one's vision?
The OriLens and the LMI are intraocular implants that contain reflective surfaces (mirrors).
The mirrors are designed and positioned so that they create a telescopic effect that magnifies the central image that is reflected on the macular area of the eye, while preserving at least part of the peripheral vision.
The mirrors are precisely designed and positioned so that the modified image that is created by the mirror system is projected on the retina. The ability to project a predetermined modified image is used to redesign vision on the human retina for treatment of retinal diseases.
As with external telescopes, the concept of optically treating patients that suffer from macular degeneration and other retinal diseases consists of creating a magnified image on the central retina so that the image falls on a larger area than the diseased part of the retina.
In AMD, most photoreceptor cells in the center of the macula do not function and cannot detect light, but photoreceptor cells in the more peripheral area still function.
By magnifying the central visual field using two times to three times magnification on the macular area, the image falls on a larger area and the patient uses enough photoreceptor cells in order to create an image that can be detected by the brain.
The OriLens and the Lipshitz Macular Degeneration Implant are both small in dimensions. They are designed to be surgeon-friendly, making them easy to implant by an average cataract surgeon.
The use of mirrors allows for flexibility in creating a telescopic effect that cannot be achieved by using regular lenses. Mirror technology enables modification of the image on the retina without depending on the change in the index of refraction of the optical elements as in Galilean telescopes.
3. Who would be considered a candidate for the implants? How is it determined if the implants will be beneficial to a patient?
In general, the ideal patient for LMI or OriLens implantation would be over 60 years old, suffers from dry macular degeneration or wet macular degeneration in both eyes, with visual acuity and refraction in a specified range (less then 6/20), no ocular pathology or previous surgery in the operated eye (other than cataract) and no ocular disease in the fellow eye that may affect the peripheral vision.
This patient is expected to be motivated, communicate well with medical staff, fully understand all the potential outcomes of Lipshitz Macular Degeneration Implant or OriLens implantation and show a considerable improvement in visual acuity using an external telescope (mounted on glasses) with similar magnification as the LMI and the OriLens.
Furthermore, the ideal patient is expected to be available and show up for all of the required post implantation examinations.
While the LMI is designed for aphakic patients only (patients who did not go through cataract surgery in the past), the OriLens is a secondary implant that can be used for pseudophakic patients (with an implanted intra ocular lens) as well.
4. What kind of recovery can a patient expect?
Generally, the recovery from LMI and OriLens implantation is similar to the recovery from cataract surgery.
Several follow up eye examinations are expected during the first year post-op.
5. Does the implant prevent a macular degeneration patient from receiving any future treatment or intraocular injections?
No, the treatment does not interfere with any medical treatment for AMD. Patients can continue receiving other medical treatments, such as intra ocular injections.
6. Where are the LMI and OriLens available and how does one find an opthalmologist who is trained to perform the implant surgery?
Any cataract surgeon can perform LMI and OriLens implantation. Both implants are CE certified and available in non-FDA regulated countries.
7. Will it be available in the United States in the near future?
The LMI and the OriLens are CE certified for non-FDA regulated countries. They are not FDA-approved and were not submitted to the FDA so far. In the future, OptoLight may decide to apply for FDA-approval.
Since the regulatory process in the US takes time, we do not expect the macular degeneration implants to be offered in the US within the next 5 years.
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