What is macular translocation?
The eye is often compared to a camera. The front of the eye contains a lens that focuses images on the inside of the back of the eye. The back of the eye, called the retina, is covered with special nerve cells that react to light. These nerve cells are very close together in the middle of the retina where the eye focuses the images that we see. This small middle section, called the macula, is essential to clarity and sharpness of vision. Sometimes the retina is damaged by unwanted new blood vessels growing on it. This damages the macula and causes vision loss.
In macular translocation, the macula is moved away from abnormal new blood vessel growth (choroidal neovascular membrane) to an area of healthier retinal tissue to preserve as much vision as possible.
Can macular translocation be performed if the patient has either the dry (atrophic) or the wet (exudative) form of age-related macular degeneration?
This procedure is only for patients who have the wet (exudative) form of age-related macular degeneration. This translocation is used only for patients whose abnormal blood vessels are located in the very center of the macula and are not associated with a scar. Better results are achieved in patients who have small abnormal blood vessels of more recent onset.
Will the patient need tests before the procedure?
The patient will require a comprehensive ophthalmological evaluation as well as fluorescein angiogram. Sometimes an indocyanine green angiogram is also needed.
How is the procedure performed?
This is a vitreoretinal surgical procedure - a bubble of air is placed in the eye and the patient is required to maintain a sitting up or leaning to one side position for a few days following the surgery.
Is more than one treatment needed?
In about 10% of the cases, a secondary macular translocation treatment is required.
What results can the patient expect?
The treatment is still experimental. So far, about 20% of the patients treated have had improvement in the vision. There continues to be improvement up to six months after the procedure.
Is age a factor for macular translocation surgery?
If the patient has been diagnosed as legally blind, can this procedure still be performed?
If a doctor told a patient that nothing else can be done for them, can macular translocation surgery still be performed?
The patient needs to be evaluated at the Cole Eye Institute to determine whether they are eligible to undergo the procedure here.
If lasers were used as a prior treatment, can this procedure still be performed?
Are there any risks or side effects the patient should be concerned about?
The risks will be discussed when the patient is evaluated.
If the patient has other medical disorders, can this procedure still be performed?
Make an appointment now. Or call 216.444.2020 or 800.223.2273 Ext. 42020 to schedule an appointment with a Cole Eye Institute ophthalmologist.