At Rocky Mountain Retina Associates, many of the conditions treated may be effectively corrected with surgery.
We know that surgery is a nerve-racking topic, one that our doctors are dedicated to covering, in great length, during a consultative appointment. In this blog we wanted to cover the basics of retina surgery and explain what each procedure aims to achieve, while sharing the conditions each procedure works to effectively treat.
A surgical procedure undertaken by a specialist where the vitreous humor gel that fills the eye cavity is removed to provide better access to the retina. This allows for a variety of repairs, including the removal of scar tissue, laser repair of retinal detachments and treatment of macular holes. Once surgery is complete, saline, a gas bubble or silicone oil may be injected into the vitreous gel to help hold the retina in position. Additional procedures such as membrane peeling, or laser may be performed alongside a vitrectomy.
Conditions treated: retinal detachments & macular holes
Our specialists may recommend placing a scleral buckle, a specialized elastic band, around the eye during a retinal detachment repair. A scleral buckle provides support to the retina and is used to flatten and re-attach the retina. Scleral buckles are typically permanent. This may be performed with or without a vitrectomy.
Conditions treated: retinal detachments
A minimally invasive procedure used to seal or destroy leaking blood vessels in the retina that lead to serious retinal conditions such as diabetic retinopathy and macular edema. This procedure can also seal retinal tears and destroy abnormal tissue found in the back of the eye.
Our laser may be recommended for patients with macular edema – swelling of the central retina, called the macula. The laser coagulates, or dries up, the fluid that is causing the swelling. During focal photocoagulation, laser burns are made on the retina to target leaking blood vessels. While it cannot restore vision that has already been lost, it can reduce the risk of vision loss.
Conditions treated: diabetic retinopathy, retinal vein occlusions, age-related macular degeneration, retinal detachment, and more
An intravitreal injection is a shot of medicine into the eye. The inside of the eye is filled with a jelly-like fluid (vitreous). During this procedure, one of our specialists injects medicine into the vitreous, near the retina at the back of the eye. We know that this method may sound the scariest! We strive to make intravitreal injections comfortable and painless. Intravitreal injections are performed in the office, often with the patient reclined in a chair. First, the eye and eyelids are anesthetized using drops or gel so the injection doesn’t hurt. Typically, patients feel pressure, with little or no pain during the injection and the entire process takes about 10 to 15 minutes!
Conditions treated: Age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and retinal vein occlusion
Our board-certified Vitreoretinal Surgeons, Geeta Lalwani and Vlad Matei, are committed to preserving vision thus improving quality of life for all patients who visit. They are active members of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Retina Specialists, and the Vit-Buckle Society and use their skills gained through extensive training and experience in advanced retinal surgical techniques to provide the best outcomes. No matter which condition you are referred for, please know that you will receive the highest level of care. Our retina surgeons will prioritize personalized and collaborative service and communication, while providing the best outcomes possible.
If you're interested in a consultative evaluation, fill out our Appointment Request Form and a team member will reach out soon.