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The first private Vitreo-retinal (VR) surgery facility in the East of Scotland has opened at The Edinburgh Clinic.
Following a significant investment, our Eye Clinic has expanded its capability to offer patients fast and expert treatment for sight-theatening diseases of the vitreous and retina. This new service complements the range of eye-related problems we already treat at our Eye Clinic; these include Glaucoma, Cataracts, Macular Degeneration, Dry Eye and Blepharitis.
Vitreo-Retinal (VR) surgery treats diseases of the vitreous and retina that are amenable to surgical and other treatments. Half the number of patients requiring surgery present as emergency or urgent cases. Other potentially sight-threatening conditions which are treated by surgery include Retinal Tears, Diabetic Retinopathy, Vitreous Haemorrhage, Macular Hole and Epiretinal Membranes.
VR surgery involves removing the vitreous gel ("jelly") of the eye, using special instruments inserted through holes that are made in the white of the eye. Removing the vitreous gel from the eye means that it can no longer pull on the retina. Depending on the location of the problem the retina is pushed back in place with either a gas bubble or a heavy oily fluid and is made to stick down with laser or freezing treatment. The gas bubble remains in the eye for days to weeks, keeping the retina pressed into place. The gas gradually disappears and is replaced by the natural fluid produced inside the eye. If an oil is used, this will be gently removed in another procedure once the eye has healed.
The approach to surgery varies depending on the condition that is being treated. This will be fully discussed with you during your consultation.
There is a risk of cataract formation or deterioration if present already, particularly in older people. The pressure in the eye may be temporarily increased, however this can be treated with drops. Serious bleeding into the eye, or infection, can occur and effect vision, but these complications are extremely rare.
With trends showing a growing rise in demand for this type of treatment, The Edinburgh Clinic offers patients an affordable alternative. Recent NHS statistics1 show that in 2016/17 2.2 million eye examinations were performed by optometrists working in Scottish local communities, the highest level in ten years. However, despite Scotland having a high level of community optometrists available, there still appears to be a general lack of awareness of eye-related health and how this can impact on people’s lives as they get older.
The state-of-the-art equipment now available at the Clinic means our ophthalmic surgeons have a fully equipped facility allowing for all elements of treatment to be carried out, from diagnosis to aftercare and recovery. Procedures at The Edinburgh Clinic are carried out by two consultant ophthalmic surgeons, Dr Jas Singh and Dr Harry Bennett.
Dr Singh, one of Scotland’s most prominent VR surgeons, said: “As a nation we sometimes take our eyes for granted. Many people may not be aware of the risks of developing sight issues and are ignoring signs that something is wrong.
With the ageing population increasing, it’s more important than ever we take care of our eyes and address any symptoms early. Nowhere else in the East of Scotland offers this type of surgery, which can make a huge difference to people’s lives, no matter their age. The Edinburgh Clinic is fully equipped with the most advanced technology available meaning treatment success levels are higher than ever.”