Finding a retinal surgeon

Discussion in 'Optometry Archives' started by Jodie, Nov 16, 2005.

  1. Jodie

    Jodie Guest

    I was diagnosed with a macular pucker in my right eye, and my
    ophthalmologist referred me to a retinal specialist. Unfortunately, my
    initial consultation with this doctor was very unsatisfactory for me.
    I found him extremely uncommunicative, and his religious references
    made me very uncomfortable. I do not intend to see him again. As a
    medical "outsider" (with good insurance coverage but no primary care
    doctor), how can I locate the best retinal surgeon in my area? Are the
    listings of "best" doctors by Castle Connolly and Consumers Guide
    reliable? Is membership in professional groups (e.g., the Vitreous
    Society) important? If I were to schedule an appointment with a doctor
    at a teaching hospital, would residents also participate in my
    treatment? Any help/advice with this problem would be appreciated.
    Jodie, Nov 16, 2005
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  2. If you are located near a teaching hospital, the care is first rate.
    Don't be fearful of residents being involved in your care. Their
    enthusiasm is contagious and they are practicing with direct
    supervision in a team approach. When you consider that a retinologist
    is the product of 12 years of education followed by 4 years of
    undergrad followed by 4 years of medical school followed by a two year
    ophthalmology residency followed by a two year retinology fellowship or
    residency..........Need I say more? These are the best and the
    brightest that most schools have to offer.
    doctor_my_eye, Nov 18, 2005
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  3. Jodie

    CatmanX Guest

    go back to your ophthalmologist, tell them what you said here and ask
    for another referral to another retinal specialist.

    It is not just how good they are, it is how they treat you. When I
    write a referral, I do so to a doc who will treat my patient the way I
    would like to be treated.

    CatmanX, Nov 18, 2005
  4. Jodie

    lynn Guest

    I also have an epiretinal membrane.
    I am waiting for FDA approval and distribution of the Glasser "rake"
    before undergoing the removal of the membrance.
    If you live near Dallas, TX, the Texas Retina Associates have a very
    good reputation.
    lynn, Nov 29, 2005
  5. Jodie

    Jodie Guest

    I really appreciate your input. My online research found no outcome
    studies of the Glaser "rake" vs. more traditional surgical instruments.
    (Do any exist?) I'd rather not be a surgeon's first experience with a
    new instrument. The biggest innovation in treatment that I found
    involves "nonvictrectomizing vitreous surgery" (i.e., peeling the
    epiretinal membrane without performing the vitrectomy). Post-surgery
    vision is reported to be excellent (average=20/25) with this method,
    with no increase in the rate of cataract development.
    Unfortunately, the studies I found on pubmed indicated that the
    membrane grew back in about 33% of the patients (a much higher rate
    than with traditional surgery.)

    The rate of retinal detachment (the worst case scenario) from
    traditional macular pucker surgery varies from 2 percent to more than
    10 percent, depending on the study. I suspect that the surgeon's skill
    has a lot to do with this. For lack of a better method, I ended up
    using Castle Connolly's guide (which relies exclusively on ratings from
    other doctors) in choosing a surgeon. Their guide yielded the
    names/education/training of ten retinal specialists in my area
    (Chicago) who are reported to be the "best." I have an appointment
    next month with a doctor at a major teaching hospital. His credentials
    seem awesome, but the participation of residents/interns in any future
    surgery would be a deal-breaker.
    Jodie, Nov 30, 2005
  6. Jodie

    lynn Guest

    I have been told that is is common place for the membrane to tear apart
    during the removal procedure. One doctor described it as trying to
    peel a wet tissue paper off a wall.

    One of the instruments currently used looks like a rake.

    I would rather try the Glasser rake than use current instruments which
    are not all that great (the membrane still tears using the current

    I talked with a friend who had detached retina sugery over 14 years
    ago. No problems with the removal of the vitreous except the cataract
    which occurred less than a year later. He is corrected to 20/20 and
    holds a Class 1 FAA physical.

    You might ask several "front eye" doctors who they would use for retina
    surgery on their own eye?

    I would be VERY specific about no one performing the surgery except the
    teaching doctor. No resident or fellow to touch any you or any of the
    intra-eye surgical instruments.
    lynn, Dec 5, 2005
  7. Jodie

    CatmanX Guest

    Go to a reputable optometrist in your area and ask him (her) who they
    would go to. OPtometrists have the benefit of not being in "the system"
    and will refer to whoever is best, that's certainly my approach. Along
    with that, I also consider who is going to look after my patients, and
    that means emotionally as well as medically.\

    dr grant
    CatmanX, Dec 6, 2005
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