What To Expect
Vitreoretinal disorders can take many forms and require different amounts of time for testing, evaluation, and treatment. We recommend allotting three hours for your initial visit, although many evaluations take less time. It is best to have a driver as both eyes will be dilated and certain treatments may temporarily interfere with vision.
When you first arrive, you will complete a medical history form if you have not done so already, and then you’ll head to a testing room for initial measurements. Your physician may be called upon to double check the technician’s findings prior to dilation of your eyes, and then additional imaging may be performed to evaluate your specific condition. Some of our imaging procedures are outlined below.
Spectral Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
The OCT scan uses light energy and the reflectance of the ocular tissue in the back of the eye to create a detailed image of retina and surrounding structures. This information can be viewed in a number of ways to help understand structural abnormalities in the retina and adjacent tissues. This is a sort of “MRI of the retina,” and it is painless and easy to undergo.
OCT Angiography (OCTA)
The OCTA provides a way to assess blood flow in the back of the eye, and it involves the same principles as those of the OCT.
Fluorescein Angiography (FA)
With the FA procedure, a small amount of fluorescein dye is placed in a vein in the arm or the hand, and digital photographs are taken as the dye passes through the retinal blood vessels. This imaging technique is valuable in assessing retinal conditions that affect the retinal vasculature, such as diabetes and “wet” macular degeneration.
Indocyanine Green Angiography (ICGA)
The ICGA procedure is similar to FA, but uses a different dye (indocyanine green) to allow better visualization of deeper structures. It may be done in conjunction with FA.
We use digital wide-angle photography to photograph the more peripheral areas of the retina. Wide-angle angiography is also commonly performed if vascular disorders involve the peripheral retina.
Ultrasound uses sound waves to create an image of the retina and surrounding structures. It is useful if the physician cannot see inside the eye because of media opacities such as an opaque cornea, dense cataract, or vitreous hemorrhage. It can also be used to assess and measure bumps or masses within the eye. This is the same technology commonly used on expecting mothers to view a baby before birth.
When the imaging procedures are complete, you’ll meet with your physician and their assistant. As the physician examines you, the assistant will enter information in the electronic medical record system so the physician can give you their full attention. Together, you’ll review your images. Following a complete assessment, you’ll discuss the diagnosis and treatment options (if needed). If in-office treatment is possible we will make every attempt to perform the initial treatment on the day of your visit. Sometimes additional laboratory testing, scans, or surgery will be needed, and if that’s the case, we’ll help you make these arrangements.
Our goal is to provide excellent care, utilizing all relevant technology, in an understanding and comfortable environment.