Wills Eye Hospital Begins Performing Newly-Approved Surgery For Macular Degeneration

By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – History was made inside the Operating Room at Wills Eye Hospital. A new procedure may provide promise to scores of folks who suffer from age-related macular degeneration.

Director of Retina Service at Wills Eye Hospital, Dr. Carl Regillo says, “The surgery is not all that different from standard cataract surgery. It is removing the native lens, which is a cataract, but instead of putting in a standard lens implant, it’s an implant that incorporates a telescope.”

Director of Retina Service at Wills Eye Hospital, Dr. Carl Regillo. (Credit: Wills Eye Hospital)

Director of Retina Service at Wills Eye Hospital, Dr. Carl Regillo. (Credit: Wills Eye Hospital)

Over 100 pea-sized implants have been placed in patients’ eyes across the country since 2011. And, Regillo says Wills Eye Hospital has been part of this process as FDA approval of this implant was sought.

“We were actually part of the phase-three study that led to its approval. We implanted the device in a half-dozen patients and it worked really well on a few. Now, a few years down the line it is now commercially available.”

Dr. Regillo wants to stress this treatment does not work on everyone, but is thrilled to offer patients improved vision with it.

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