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Manchester Royal Eye Consultant flies to Asia to share Bionic Eye expertise

Manchester Royal Eye Hospital Consultant, Dr Paulo Stanga, recently flew to Taiwan to supervise the first ever implantation of a 'bionic eye' in Asia. The Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System made by Second Sight, which Dr Stanga implanted in to first UK patient Keith Flynn at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital in 2015, was successfully performed by Dr. Yih-Shiou Hwang and his team at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital (CGMH), in Linkou, Taiwan in a 40-year-old patient who suffers from blindness caused by retinal degeneration. The sharing of expertise will give patients with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) the opportunity to lead more independent lives.

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RP is a rare, hereditary disease that causes a progressive degeneration of the light-sensitive cells of the retina, leading to significant visual impairment and ultimately blindness. There are an estimated 1.2 million people worldwide with RP.

Second Sight's Argus II works by converting video images captured by a miniature camera housed in the patient's glasses into a series of small electrical pulses that are transmitted wirelessly to electrodes on the surface of the retina. These pulses stimulate the retina's remaining cells resulting in the corresponding perception of patterns of light in the brain. The patient then learns to interpret these visual patterns to regain some visual function.