First telescopic implant in Washington for macular degeneration

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A Kennewick resident became the first person in Washington state to receive new treatment for end-stage macular degeneration, helping restore his sight.

SEATTLE —  Kennewick resident Charles DePoe can now recognize his wife and read a newspaper, things he couldn’t do one year ago.

He was nearly blind due to end-stage macular degeneration, the leading cause of permanent vision loss in older Americans.

A breakthrough procedure was performed by Dr. Thomas Gillette at Swedish Medical Center in October.

Gillette implanted a tiny telescope into DePoe’s eye, allowing him to virtually get his sight back.

DePoe, 76, is the first patient in Washington state to have received the implant.

The FDA and Medicare approved the telescope implant in only one eye. The telescope implant uses technology to magnify images onto healthier parts of the eye not affected by the disease, making it possible for patients to discern the central vision object of interest.

The treatment is part of CentraSight, a new patient care program for treating patients with end stage AMD.

For more information about the telescope implant and related treatment, click here.

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