Artificial sight used for the first time in Europe

March 5, 2008

A blind person's sight has been restored by surgeons at the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG) for the first time in Europe using American technology.

A blind person's sight was restored by surgeons at the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG) for the first time in Europe using American technology.

Believed to be only the tenth procedure of its kind performed in the world, the technology was developed by Second Sight, a California-based company in the US.

A tiny camera and transmitter are mounted in eyeglasses and an implanted receiver and a device containing 60 electrodes is secured to the retina with a wire the width of a human hair.

"This kind of implant is suitable for people who suffer from a well-defined malady, retinitis pigmentosa," said Avinoam Safran, chief doctor at HUG's Ophthalmology Department. The technology is not expected to restore vision completely to the patient, he noted.