Surgery on the eye is a very delicate procedure, and retina surgery is no exception.
Retinal surgery is usually needed in cases where there is a type of edema, retinal or macula bleeding, or if there is a detached retina, which can cause serious damage. If you need retinal surgery, you will want a highly specialized and experienced eye surgeon (ophthalmologist) to perform your procedure.
La Peer Health System’s Department of Ophthalmology deals with eye physiology, anatomy, and diseases. Our ophthalmologists are highly trained and offer the latest eye surgeries including cataract surgery, vitrectomy, tear duct surgery, orbital surgery, and cosmetic surgery.
Contact us at (855) 360-9119 to find out more information.
About the Retina
The retina is located in the back of your eye and is about the size of a postage stamp. It is a very thin tissue that lines the back of the eye and allows us to see an image. Your retina works similar to film; however instead of chemicals, the retina is lined with nerve endings called rods and cones that are very sensitive to light.
The macula is a very important part of the retina. It allows us to see very fine details, such as the fibers in a thin thread. The macula is very sensitive to circulatory changes such as the type that occur with aging. Since the retina contains a network of blood vessels and arteries that allow oxygen and nutrients to enter the retina, it is very important that this blood vessel network is healthy and functioning properly. If not, it could lead to vision loss.
An eye angiogram is preformed before any retinal procedure to locate leaky blood vessels in the retina or inflammation in the eye. Eye angiograms also help our Beverly Hills ophthalmologists map out the eye and locate precise areas that need to be operated. This procedure is very common and should also be used prior to any laser eye surgery.
An eye angiogram is unlike any other type of angiogram because you are not exposed to radiation. At your pre-operative appointment at La Peer’s surgical center in Beverly Hills, green, purple, or yellow dye is injected into your arm and circulated throughout your body. After about 30 seconds, the dye will enter the blood vessels in your eye, and your ophthalmologist will take a series of photos to map your eye.
Treating Retinal Detachment
Retinal detachment is a serious medical issue that can result in loss of vision. Retinal detachment is common with aging, cataract surgery, and head trauma and is also associated with a high degree of nearsightedness. It occurs when the retina becomes detached from the supportive tissues beneath it or when these layers are not properly attached to one another. A retinal detachment is directly caused by a hole or tear in the retina. Retinal detachment is most common in nearsighted people, but also may occur with aging, trauma, or after cataract surgery.
Symptoms of retina detachment usually appear as blurred vision, shadows moving down from the top to the bottom of the eye, or floaters and spots in their field of vision. If the retina tears a thick fluid called vitreous can seep through the hole creating a gap between the retina and the outer wall of the eye. Though it is not painful, total vision loss can occur if the retina is completely detached. If the problem is treated quickly vision may be restored.
These visual impairments may not be serious and can sometimes disappear without medical intervention. Just be careful because it could also be a warning sign of retinal detachment, especially if the visual impairments occur after any type of head trauma.
Treatment of a small retinal detachment usually involves a laser to treat any holes or tears, but if the retinal detachment is beyond treatment with a laser, your surgeon may choose one of the following treatments, each of which is offered at La Peer Health Systems:
- Scleral buckling: This is the most common treatment for retinal detachment. An ophthalmologist starts out by identifying and treating any holes in the retina with a freezing cold probe. This creates scar tissue, which in turn seals the hole. A scleral buckle made of silicone or plastic is usually sewn to the outer wall of the eye to compress the eye. This is left in place permanently.
- Pneumatic retinopexy: Under local anesthesia, a freezing cold probe is used to seal the hole or tear. The surgeon then injects a gas bubble directly inside the vitreous cavity of the eye to push the detached retina against the back outer wall of the eye (sclera). The gas bubble initially expands and then disappears over a period of two to six weeks. This treatment isn’t for every case of retina detachment but can be used in conjunction with a scleral buckle.
- Vitrectomy: In very severe cases, vitrectomy surgery is performed under general or local anesthesia. The vitreous gel of the eye is removed and replaced with a gas to refill the eye and reposition the retina. The gas eventually is absorbed and is replaced by the eye’s own natural fluid. A scleral buckle is often also performed with the vitrectomy.
Treating Macular Edema
Macular edema is a condition, usually caused by diabetes, in which the macula fills up fluid from leaking blood vessels. This causes the macula to swell and leads to a decrease in vision. Similar to retina detachment, macular edema treatment usually involves a laser. To treat macular edema or bleeding of the macula in the retina, a beam of high-energy laser light is used to fill leaking blood vessels. This will stabilize the condition and slow the progression of the condition. It will not, however, cure it. Macular edema may also be treated by intraocular injections of medications directly into the eye. There are often done in the ophthalmologist’s office and are almost always painless.
Treating Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetes can harm your eyes because the condition tends to damage small blood vessels in both your retina and the back part of your eye. This is called diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes also increases the risk of developing glaucoma, cataracts, and other eye problems. Most people who suffer from this condition are of working age and have either type I or II diabetes. Many people with early stage diabetic retinopathy have no symptoms before major bleeding occurs in the eye. It is for this very reason that everyone with diabetes should have regular eye exams.
Laser treatment is also used to treat a more severe form of diabetic eye disease, called proliferative diabetic retinopathy. In this case, a treatment called panretinal photocoagulation is applied in one or more sessions. It entails using multiple laser spots applied to the nonseeing peripheral retina in order to reduce the amount of blood flow needed by the retina.
Contact Eye Specialists in Beverly Hills
La Peer Health Systems in Beverly Hills boast some of the country’s finest ophthalmologists. We utilize the latest and most effective procedures when performing any type of LASIK or eye surgery. If you are concerned with your eyes or vision, schedule a consultation with one of our talented retina surgeons in Beverly Hills today by calling (855) 360-9119 or filling out our contact form.
Next, read about Tear Duct Surgery.