UK Docs Implant Bionic Eyes

Surgery aims to restore partial vision in blind men
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2008 8:04 PM CDT
Foreign doctors perform surgery on an eye of a Cambodian patient aboard a plane used as flying eye hospital in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2007.   (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)
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(Newser) – British doctors have given two blind men bionic eyesight and say they will soon enjoy partial vision, the Telegraph reports. Using US technology, the surgeons inserted electrodes in the men's retinas last week. Studded on a metal plate, the conductors will be connected to a small eyeglass camera that enables users to see objects as blotches of light.

"Conceptually it could be used for anyone with extremely poor vision but a physically intact optic nerve," one of the surgeons said. "The sort of vision we are getting is not good quality but as the thing gets better it will open up to more and more people." Next, three European hospitals will try the surgery, and UK doctors hope to operate on another eight patients by year's end.