Weisser-Pike to Provide Rehabilitation to First IMT Patient in the United States

Dr. Orli Weisser-Pike will provide rehabilitation to the first patient in the United States to receive an IMT following cataract surgery (Photo provided by Dr. Orli Weisser-Pike)

The first patient in the United States to receive an implanted miniature telescope (IMT) following cataract surgery will receive rehabilitation from an assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy in the College of Health Professions at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC).

Low vision rehabilitation and occupational therapist Orli Weisser-Pike, OTD, OTR/L, CLVT, SCLV, CAPS, has specialized in low vision rehabilitation for 14 years. She was identified by CentraSight, a treatment program that specializes in treating age-related central vision loss or macular degeneration, as the only low vision rehabilitation therapist in the area.

“Since I maintained my relationship and training with CentraSight, I was asked to be a member of the team once again,” Dr. Weisser-Pike said. “There are very few occupational therapists around the country who can provide rehabilitation to people receiving the IMT. This means that UTHSC is providing highly specialized occupational therapy interventions that are not available elsewhere in the area.”

The IMT creates a condition where each eye receives a different version of the same image, and the client has to learn to use each eye for different tasks. The image in the eye with the IMT is magnified, but dimmer, and is used for detailed task, such as reading. The other eye is used for mobility and scanning the environment.

Dr. Weisser-Pike’s rehabilitation plan entails teaching the client to distinguish between the two types of vision, and learning to attend to the vision from each eye depending on the task being accomplished. The implant’s manufacturing company has a very comprehensive care path that includes training in strategies to maximize vision through the telescope implant, reading with the implant eye, learning to integrate reaching and looking, also known as visual-motor integration, and mobility.

The surgery was performed by Subba Gollamudi, MD, of the Eye Specialty Group in Memphis.