Eye Services

Intravitreal Injections

Intravitreal injections are an exceptionally effective medical treatment for several different ocular diseases. The injected medication holds many advantages over both oral and topical processes, as well as invasive surgery, including:

  • Immediate localization; no need to wait for absorption through secondary media
  • Lower effective dosage and frequency required
  • Minimally invasive; fewer complications than surgery

Several retinal diseases are treatable with intravitreal injections, including macular degeneration, retinal vein occlusion, and diabetic retinopathy. All of these can cause blindness in their most progressed stages and thus timely treatment by intraocular injection is crucial. In fact, macular degeneration (wet-subtype) is responsible for approximately 90% of all blindness caused by disease.

The procedure is quite simple: the doctor will apply a mild anesthetic through eye drops and makes the injection a short distance away from the pupil. This is generally performed in a doctor's office. However, there are always risks associated with medical procedures; possible side effects of an intravitreal injection can include gritty eye irritation, tearing, floaters and slight pain. Rarely the patient will encounter increased intraocular pressure, inflammation, conjunctival hemorrhage, or significant vision loss.


The vitreous is the clear, gel-like substance that makes up the center of the eye, accounting for approximately two-thirds of the eye's volume, giving it its shape. Because of its large, soft consistency, the vitreous is commonly affected by various diseases that may cause it to cloud, fill with blood or harden, making it difficult for light to properly reach the retina. This may lead to blurred vision, tears or other serious conditions.

Patients with disease or injury to the vitreous may benefit from a vitrectomy. This procedure removes the vitreous by suctioning it out with tiny instruments that are inserted into the eye. After removal, your doctor may treat the retina with a laser, cut or remove scar tissue, flatten detached areas of the retina, or repair holes or tears in the retina. Patients may experience mild discomfort and redness for several days after this procedure, and often have their eye patched for the first day.

Although results vary depending on the individual condition treated, most patients experience improved visual acuity after this procedure. Vitrectomy is most effective in treating conditions such as macular hole, retinal detachment, diabetic retinopathy, vitreous hemorrhage or an injury or infection in the vitreous.

Although this procedure is considered safe, there are certain risks associated with any surgical procedure. Some of these risks include retinal detachment, fluid buildup, growth of new blood vessels, infection and further bleeding into the vitreous gel. Patients can minimize these risks by choosing an experienced doctor to perform their procedure.

Scleral Buckle

A scleral buckle is an ophthalmologic procedure in which a thin silicone band is used to put pressure on the eye in order to correct retinal detachment. This band is attached to the whites of the eyes (sclera) and the pressure exerted helps the retina heal, while also helping excess fluid in the eye to drain. The silicone buckles are only removed if the area around them becomes infected. The exact mechanics of how this occurs are not fully understood, but it is an effective treatment nonetheless.

This surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure under local or general anesthesia and may be preformed in conjunction with vitrectomy, cryotherapy, or laser photocoagulation. These additional procedures will help ensure a full recovery of the retina. The doctor will most likely operate within a hospital due to the delicate nature of the procedure. An overnight stay may be requested if the case is serious.

Retinal Laser Photocoagulation

Retinal laser photocoagulation is 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.

During laser photocoagulation, laser burns are made on the retina to target leaking blood vessels or treat the entire area to slow the growth of new abnormal vessels. While it cannot restore vision that has already been lost, it can reduce the risk of vision loss, a major complication of retinal diseases.

This procedure is performed with a local or topical anesthetic on an outpatient basis. Patients will need someone to drive them home after the procedure, since the pupils will be dilated for several hours. Your vision may also be blurry and you may experience mild pain for a day or two after the procedure. You can resume normal activities immediately.

Laser photocoagulation carries certain risks, since it involves burning and destroying part of the retina. Patients may experience a mild loss of central vision, reduced night vision and a decreased ability to focus. However, the potential vision loss caused by this procedure is far less than the severe vision loss that can occur as a result of retinal conditions like diabetic retinopathy.

Your doctor will discuss the benefits and risks of this procedure with you to help you decide whether or not retinal laser photocoagulation is right for you.

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