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NHS England now recruiting RP patients for bionic eye surgery trial

NHS England are seeking 10 patients with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) to evaluate the sight improving implant, Argus II, also known as bionic eye surgery.

The Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System was approved by the FDA in 2013 for RP patients and has more recently been trialled with AMD patients. NHS England is exploring how it can best be used to help improve the sight and independence of people with RP.

To date, over 240 RP patients with sight loss across the US, UK, Germany and France and among other countries, have received the Argus II implant.

NHS England are looking to recruit 10 severely blind patients with RP who are over the age of 18 who will have Argus II fitted, a small implant that is inserted into the eye.

Following the surgery, the patients will receive rehabilitation for one year to help them use the Argus II on a day to day basis. Patients will be asked to provide feedback on how it has made a difference to their lives which will help to evaluate how the Argus II works best for people with RP.

Patients with Age-related Macular Degeneration who have already received the Argus II implant have said they have experienced an increase in their visual field awareness and greater independence.  

Feedback has shown that after surgery, most patients have been able to sort laundry into white and coloured washes; avoid low hanging tree branches and dogs when walking along pavements; safely cross the road and reach out to grasp a cup of tea. Some patients can read large letters.

Eligible patients will undergo an initial interview and selection process to find the most appropriate candidates for the trial.

The surgery will be carried out at Moorfields Eye Hospital and Manchester Royal Eye Hospital.

For more information about the trial, please call Freephone 0800

520 0925 (answerphone call back service outside of office hours).

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