The 3 Revolutions in Retina
The field of Retina has undergone 3 main Revolutions:
1) Imaging technology
2) Surgical techniques and technology
3) Medical treatments
The Spectralis: A Diagnostic Imaging Revolution in Retina
State of the Art Imaging: The Spectralis
The most significant tool in the armamentarium of a retina physician is the OCT machine (OCT = "Optical Coherence Tomography").
The OCT is an imaging machine that gives a non-invasive cross-section photograph of the retina, showing all the cellular layers of the retina and thus allowing us to diagnose and follow diseases like macular degeneration or diabetic macular edema, 2 of the most common causes of blindness in our population. Having the latest OCT machine allows your physician to see critical details that can help in your management.
Retina San Diego is home the gold-standard OCT imaging machine, The Spectralis. Our machine gives us a resolution that is even smaller that a tenth of the diameter of a human hair! This level of detail is critical in the proper management of many retina diseases and has revolutionized our field.
The beginning of the twenty first century saw the most significant change as OCT revolutionized the field of retina from a world of clinical approximation to a field that is considered to have the most advanced diagnostic imaging in medicine. Clinicians were able to diagnose, measure and compare ailments affecting the retina in an objective way at a level of details never thought possible. We are now experiencing a similar revolution as OCT angiography is allowing us to image the retinal and choroidal vasculature in a safe way in addition to giving us new clinical information on diseases at an earlier stage. The discoveries that this new technology is bringing have the ability to improve our clinical practice and most importantly become a crucial part of our armamentarium in the fight against blindness. Retina San Diego is proud to provide this new technology to our patients since 2017.
The Technology: The OCTA uses speckle pattern variations in order to derive amplitude and phase information. The Split-Spectrum Amplitude Decorrelation Angiography (SSADA) algorithm splits each B-scan in order to improve flow detection by increasing signal-to-noise flow ratio. This algorithm allows us to visualize blood flow within retinal vessels in a non-invasive way. This new technology allows us to visualize certain diseases prior to them becoming active.
Advanced Surgical Technology & Techniques
At Retina San Diego, we have the latest retina LASER that has revolutionized the field. Our Gold Standard YELLOW MICROPULSE LASER allows better treatment in the macula area of the retina which is responsible for your most critical vision, as opposed to the standard green laser which has a risk of causing scars in the center of your vision. This advanced LASER is available on site at the Retina San Diego office so you don't have to travel anymore to get it. We are the first center in San Diego to be able to treat patients with this improved LASER. In addition to providing better treatment of the macula, the YELLOW MICROPULSE LASER is more comfortable than the other lasers.
The past decade has seen the birth of significantly smaller instruments for vitrectomy surgery that allow most of our surgeries to be suture-less. That means that the instrument is so small that the wall of the eye self seals. The advances in the instruments used has improved treatments for retinal detachment, vitreous hemorrhage, macular pucker, macular hole. When choosing Retina San Diego, our patients know they are choosing the most advanced techniques with the latest instruments.
New Treatments for Macular Degeneration & Diabetes
The last decade saw the birth of a new class of medication called the anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (anti-VEGF for short), which revolutionized the field of Retina and significantly improved our management of Macular Degeneration and Diabetic Retinopathy.
Prior to this class of medication wet-Macular Degeneration was mainly treated with lasers that caused scars and loss of vision. With the advent of anti-VEGF medications, for the first time we have been able to not only slow the progression of vision loss but in many cases improve vision. Retina San Diego provides treatments with Avastin (bevacizumab), Lucentis (ranibizumab), Eylea (aflibercept).
The anti-VEGF medications are also used for certain cases of diabetic retinopathy and have been a critical adjunct to therapy. At Retina San Diego, we treat each patient individually to provide them with the most beneficial treatment algorithm. Whether you need treatment with our anti-VEGF medications or treatment with our state-of-the-art YELLOW LASER, we can do it all on site in our office.