gms | German Medical Science

21st Annual Meeting of the German Retina Society and 8th Symposium of the International Society of Ocular Trauma (ISOT)

German Retina Society
International Society of Ocular Trauma

19.06. - 22.06.2008, Würzburg

Surgical procedures for implantation and explantation of a complex epiretinal visual prosthesis. Results from a prospective clinical trial

Meeting Abstract

  • Gernot F. Roessler - Aachen/Germany
  • T. Laube - Essen/Germany
  • C. Brockmann - Essen/Germany
  • N. Bornfeld - Essen/Germany
  • P. Walter - Aachen/Germany
  • EPIRET3 Group

Retinologische Gesellschaft. International Society of Ocular Trauma. 21. Jahrestagung der Retinologischen Gesellschaft gemeinsam mit dem 8. Symposium der International Society of Ocular Trauma. Würzburg, 19.-22.06.2008. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2008. DocISOTRG2008V142

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: June 18, 2008

© 2008 Roessler et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Background: To demonstrate feasibility and safety of implantation and removal surgery of completely wireless EPIRET3 retinal implants in six blind subjects.

Methods: The EPIRET3 device was implanted in six blind subjects suffering from Retinitis Pigmentosa enrolled in a prospective exploratory clinical trial. Surgery included vitrectomy, removal of the lens and implantation via a corneal incision. The following 28 days repetitive clinical examinations included visual acuity, slit lamp examination, intraocular pressure, funduscopy and fluorescein angiography. According to the schedule of the clinical trial explantation was performed four weeks after implantation.

Results: Implantation was successful in all patients. While the anterior part was fixed via transscleral sutures, the stimulating foil was placed onto the posterior pole using retinal tacks. The Implant was well tolerated in five eyes showing moderate postoperative inflammation while the position of the implant remained stable until surgical removal. In one case a severe non-bacterial inflammation with sterile hypopyon temporally appeared in the anterior chamber and required surgical intervention to gain complete recovery. Explantation of the device was successful in all cases. In one eye removal of the retinal tack during explantation surgery was necessary because of gliosis formation on the retinal surface. This maneuver caused a localized retinal defect which led to the decision to use a silicone oil endotamponade at the end of surgery.

Conclusions: Implantation surgery and removal of the device were successfully performed in all cases. In spite of the appearance of tolerable adverse events in two patients the general feasibility and safety of the surgical procedures could be proved.