Retinal separation, retinotomy, and macular relocation II. A surgical approach for age-related macular degeneration?

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Three cases of age-related maculopathy with severe and recent massive submacular hemorrhage were treated by performing complete vitrectomy. A total retinal detachment was created by infusion of fluid underneath the retina, followed by a peripheral circumferential retinotomy. This allowed access to the subretinal space for removal of blood and membranes and, more importantly, permitted rotation of the retina with relocation of the fovea. Rotations between 30° and 80° were achieved. One patient with 5 months' follow-up had a visual improvement from 1/200 to 20/80 and excyclorotation of images. The other two patients developed proliferative vitreoretinopathy after initially successful rotation. Their retinas were reattached after surgical removal of the membranes and silicone oil tamponade, but visual function remained low. The rationale for this treatment is that relocating the fovea to an area where pigment epithelium is less diseased than in the central area may allow for recovery of some useful vision.

Presented at the Club Jules Gonin, Vienna, 8 September 1992, and at the German Ophthalmological Society, Mannheim, 30 September 1992