What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Ophthalmologist/Retina Specialist David S. Dyer, MD, of Retina Associates, performs a procedure known as diabetic vitrectomy, which lessens the damage that may have occurred due to diabetic retinopathy, a condition that damages the blood vessels in the retina.

Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in American adults and is the most common diabetic eye disease. Close to fifty percent of people with diabetes have some degree of diabetic retinopathy. These blood vessels are often affected by the high blood sugar levels associated with the disease.

During this procedure, Dyer will make three small openings in the eye, extract the gel from the inside and remove any scarring. He will then perform a laser treatment to prevent the recurrence of abnormal blood vessels. At the end of the procedure Dyer will replace the gel he extracted with a gas, and over three weeks the body absorbs the gas and replaces it with a natural fluid. The procedure usually takes 45 minutes to one hour.

Often there are no symptoms or pain correlating with diabetic retinopathy, so it is important for diabetics to get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year.

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