The Dunedin Hospital, Reading has worked closely with Mr Vaughan Tanner, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, to develop a retinal surgical service using the latest advances in instrumentation and techniques. The macula is a highly sensitive area of the retina, in the eye, that is used for fine vision and reading. Mr A.N. El-Amir also offers this service at Spire Dunedin Hospital.
What is Epiretinal Membrane?
Epiretinal membrane (macular pucker/cellophane maculopathy) is the name given to a form of scar tissue which grows across the macular area of the retina. It is occasionally caused by trauma or inflammation affecting the eye but in the vast majority of cases is related simply to an ageing eye and degeneration of the vitreous gel.
Symptoms of Epiretinal Membrane
Symptoms include blurring of vision and distortion although many membranes are asymptomatic and noted during a routine visit to the optician. In many cases symptoms are only mild and non- progressive with no requirement for surgery.
In a few case the retina is pulled out of position by a contracting membrane with distortion of the retinal vessels often best seen with fluorescein angiography or optical coherence tomography scans.
Treatment of Epiretinal Membrane
If distortion is marked or progressive then membranes are usually removed via pars plana vitrectomy surgery. In the majority of patients this results in relief of symptoms. If a retinal break is found during the procedure your consultant may insert gas to help support the retina during the healing phase. In the majority of cases post-operaive posturing is not required.