Ask a Doctor: How is surgery on the retina performed?

Ask a Doctor: How is surgery on the retina performed?

September 19th, 2017 by Dr. Devon Ghodasra in Life Entertainment

Dr. Devon Ghodasra, Southeastern Retina Associates; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society

Dr. Devon Ghodasra, Southeastern Retina Associates; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton...

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Q: I imagine eye surgery can be complex. How is surgery on the retina performed?

A: The retina is the light-sensing tissue on the back inner surface of the eye. Accessing this delicate tissue is typically done with a complex surgery called a vitrectomy. The patient is taken to an operating room and given anesthesia. A surgical microscope and specialized lens allow a view inside the dilated eye. Several incisions are made in the sclera (the white outer coat of the eye) about one half of a millimeter in size, which is about the width of an eyelash. The surgeon uses various instruments in the fingertips of both hands.

These include a lighting probe, a cutting device to remove the gel inside the eye, a micro-forcep to peel away scar tissue and a laser probe to seal tears or treat abnormal blood vessels. Typical reasons for needing retinal surgery include retinal detachment and membrane or hole in the retina. Surgery on this delicate tissue is performed only by a retina specialist, a medical doctor who is an ophthalmologist and who has completed additional years of surgical training exclusively on the retina.

— Dr. Devon Ghodasra, Southeastern Retina Associates; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society


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