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Press Releases

Hawaii’s Dr. Carlton Yuen is among the first opthalmologists in the United States to introduce cutting-edge technology of Symfony and Symfony Toric Lenses for patients with cataracts

Published September 2, 2016 | Download PDF

The new lens technology allows patients with cataracts to have continuous vision for distance, intermediate and near

For the first time in Hawaii, a Honolulu cataract patient has undergone surgery to receive the state-of-the-art Tecnis Symfony Intraocular Lens (IOL) which will allow 73-year-old Gordon Ching to have continuous high-quality vision for distance, intermediate and near.  The surgery was successfully performed last Thursday (8/25) by Dr. Carlton Yuen at the Eye Surgery Center of Hawaii located at Dole Cannery.  Dr. Yuen has been given the exclusive Hawaii rights to perform this surgery based on his extensive surgical experience and is among the first 30 physicians nationwide to implant the lens since FDA approval last month (Read More)

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A Deaf And Legally Blind Honolulu Woman Who Is The Asia-Pacific Region’s First Bionic Retinal Implant Recipient Can Now See Light And Objects

Published December 18, 2015 | Download PDF

The ‘Bionic Eye’ Allows A 73-Year-Old Woman To Be Out Of The Dark And Regain Some Of Her Independence

The Eye Surgery Center of Hawaii is pleased to announce the Asia-Pacific Region’s first bionic retinal implant recipient is using her new artificial vision and able to see light and specific objects. This development is significant for a 73-year-old deaf and legally blind Honolulu woman who had been living in total darkness. The surgery was performed on March 24, 2015 and for the first time in nine months the patient publicly demonstrated her milestones utilizing her new vision. Dr. Gregg Kokame is the only Hawaii physician trained to perform the bionic retinal implant surgery and the Eye Surgery Center of Hawaii is the second center in the western United States approved to perform this procedure. (Read More)

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The First Bionic Retinal Implant Surgery to Restore Vision for the Blind in the Asia Pacific Region is Performed at The Eye Surgery Center of Hawaii

Published March 24, 2015 | Download PDF

The bionic eye is the only retinal prosthesis approved by the U.S. FDA and the first in the world.

The first artificial retinal bionic eye implant surgery in the Asia Pacific region to help restore vision for the blind was performed today in Honolulu, Hawaii by a team at the Eye Surgery Center of Hawaii led by Dr. Gregg Kokame. This ground breaking surgery was performed on March 24, 2015. Dr. Mark Humayun MD PhD, Professor of Ophthalmology at the USC Eye Institute, and the co-inventor of the Argus II implant was also present at the Eye Surgery Center of Hawaii for this historic event.

“Today is a historical day for many reasons,” said Dr. Gregg T. Kokame, founder and president of Retina Consultants of Hawaii and the president of the Eye Surgery Center of Hawaii. “This ‘bionic eye’ implant has the potential to restore vision to patients, who have been in total or near total darkness. This can dramatically change the quality of life of these patients…. (Read More)

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The first Artificial Retinal Bionic Implant to Restore Vision for the Blind in the Asia Pacific Region will be Performed in Hawaii led by Dr. Gregg Kokame at the Eye Surgery Center of Hawaii

Published March 16, 2015 | Download PDF

(Honolulu, Hawaii, March 16, 2015) At the Eye Surgery Center of Hawaii (ESCH), Dr. Gregg Kokame of the Retina Consultants of Hawaii will perform the first implant of the Argus II artificial retina in the Asia Pacific region on March 24, 2015.

The Argus II (known as the bionic eye) is the most clinically advanced artificial retina ever developed.   The Argus II is U.S. FDA approved and has shown dramatic clinical results to help patients with retinal blindness to be able to see again. Implantation of this novel vision restoring device on March 24 at the Eye Surgery Center of Hawaii (ESCH) will be the first in the Asia Pacific region, and only the second site west of the Rockies in the United States to perform this procedure… (Read More)


In the Media

Dr. Gregg Kokame, left, of the Retina Consultants of Hawaii, Sheila Chamain, research director, center, and the patient at right. Bionic eye surgery to prompt medical tourism to Hawaii, doctor says

Pacific Business News | Dec 21, 2015 | By Lorin Eleni Gill

The Eye Surgery Center of Hawaii demonstrated the success of its first retinal bionic implant this week, which restored some vision to a patient with retinal blindness.

“The patient has been training and going through rehabilitation and learning how to use it,” said Dr. Gregg Kokame of the Retina Consultants of Hawaii, who performed the Asia-Pacific region’s first implant of the Argus II artificial retina in March. “She was able to demonstrate that publicly for the first time… she was able to walk down a lighted path and turn the corner at the right time, and she can determine between light and dark colors.”… (Read More)

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Bionic Eye returns some sight to woman

Honolulu Star Advertiser | By Rob Shikina | December 20, 2015

Hawaii’s first patient to receive a bionic eye is able to discern between light and dark objects and can tell if someone walks into a room, her doctor says.

The patient, a 73-year-old legally blind and deaf Honolulu woman, is also the first patient in the Asia-Pacific region to receive the eye implant and one of only about 20 in the U.S. to receive the prosthesis, said Hawaii ophthalmologist Dr. Gregg Kokame, who installed the device in the woman’s eye.

Kokame said the implant, an Argus II Retinal Prosthesis, is the only federally approved technology that can restore limited vision and took its inventor, Mark Humayun of the University of Southern California Eye Institute, 27 years to develop… (Read More)

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ABC-news-bionic-eye Blind Hawaii Woman Gets Bionic Eye to See Again

ABC News | March 26, 2015 | By Sydney Lupkin

A Honolulu woman who went blind two years ago will soon be able to see again thanks to her new bionic eye.

Surgeons at the Eye Surgery Center of Hawaii implanted the device on Tuesday into a 72-year-old Japanese-American woman who had gone blind two years ago due to an incurable hereditary disease called retinitis pigmentosa, said Dr. Gregg Kokame, who performed the operation. He told ABC News the hospital was not identifying the woman by name, but that she was the first person to receive the implant in the Asia Pacific region.

“She’ll actually start to see motion, actually start to see somebody walk into the room and be able to see different shades of grey,” Kokame said, explaining that she was totally blind and could perceive only some light before the 4-hour surgery…. (Read More)

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Isle team to implant bionic eye in blind woman

Star Advertiser | March 24, 2015 | By Kristen Consillio

What seemed far-fetched a few decades ago will become a reality Tuesday for a blind woman whose sight will be restored through a bionic eye implant at the Eye Surgery Center of Hawaii. Honolulu ophthalmologist Gregg Kokame, president of Retina Consultants of Hawaii, will be leading a surgical team to perform the first implant of the Argus II artificial retina, known as the bionic eye, in the Asia-Pacific region. The bionic eye is the world’s first retinal prosthesis approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration…. (Read More)

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First retinal implant in Hawaii and Asia Pacific region to be performed in Honolulu

Pacific Business News |March 19, 2015 | By Lorin Eleni Gill

The Eye Center of Hawaii will host an unprecedented eye surgery in the Asia Pacific region next week — a retinal bionic implant which restores some vision to patients with retinal blindness. Dr. Gregg Kokame of the Retina Consultants of Hawaii will perform the first implant of the Argus II artificial retina in Honolulu on Tuesday… (Read More)

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KITV News Woman receives first bionic eye transplant

KITV News | March 24, 2015 | By Catherine Cruz

Doctors on Oahu have successfully transplanted the first bionic eye to a 72-year old Honolulu woman in the island…

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Khon News Story Patient receives operation to restore sight

KHON News | March 24, 2015 | By Joe Moore

A visually impaired Hawaii woman is now able to see for the first time. Tuesday morning, she underwent surgery for an artificial retinal bionic implant. This is the first of its kind in Hawaii. Here’s how it works… (Watch video)


Videos: Argus II worldwide patient stories

Michigan man sees thanks to Argus II, July 2014

Bionic Eye Cures Blindness, November 2011

More Argus II media information can be found on the Second Sight website.