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Implantable Miniature Telescope for AMD

An implantable miniature telescope (IMT) offers new hope for patients in the end-stage of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). A new study detailed in the online journal Ophthalmology details the results of a study which evaluated the comparative effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the IMT. What is unknown are the long-term side effects of this extra large lens implant. The two-year study evaluated patients who had lost most of their central vision and were determined to be legally blind. Either medications were no longer effective in treating them or they had a form of the disease for which no treatment was available. For the 76 patients who received the 3x model IMT, their vision had improved to the point that they could see people's faces rather than just blurry outlines and they were able to get around on their own. The FDA approved the IMT a year ago and is currently following IMT patients for at least five years to evaluate long-term effectiveness and safety. IMT surgery and additional care costs $18,494 per patient. Researchers deducted the costs that patients would probably not incur (such as treatment for depression, skilled nursing care, etc.) and brought the IMT treatment down to $14,389 for the purposes of the study.* Elise Ervin Staff Writer

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