A Quebec woman has become the first person in the province to receive a bionic eye implant.
At 26-years-old Sandra Cassell was diagnosed with retinal dystrophy, which is a degenerative disease of the retina that causes blindness. There was no treatment for the disease until recently.
Last spring, Cassell was the first person in the province to receive an implant device called the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System. The Argus II is a camera, which works by transforming the sensed images into electrical impulses using a small computer that the patient carries with them.
The pulses are transmitted to an implant installed onto the retina, which then stimulates the perception of light to the brain.
The operation took place at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital and was led by ophthalmologist and retinologist surgeon Dr. Flavio Rezende.
“I dedicate my career to restoring sight to those who have lost or never had it,” said Rezende in a statement.
“This success inspires me and motivates me to continue my work to develop new technologies to improve the quality of life of blind people.”
“Losing sight also means losing one’s autonomy,” she said. “I never thought I’d be able to see it again. I can finally see the silhouettes of my children for the first time, it has no price. I would be forever grateful to Dr. Rezende and his team.”