Pediatric Retina is a nascent subspecialty in Ophthalmology world over. Truly, it is Ophthalmology’s newest ‘baby’. In the current scenario in India today, this niche specialty is evolving and only a handful of institutes have awarded it the status of a stand-alone department.
Over half of the world’s blind children live in India alone. Approximately 24% of childhood blindness in India is attributable to retinal causes. Whereas cataract and malnutrition related blindness have received the attention of both governmental and non-governmental eye-care providers, retinal causes are not a priority issue. This is despite the fact that perhaps the most devastating causes of blindness stems from retinal diseases.
The growing numbers of premature infants surviving in India today have resulted in an epidemic rise of diseases such as Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP).This needs urgent attention.
At Narayana Nethralaya, we have understood the importance of this sub-specialty. After having been set-up in 2007, this department has expanded its wings to provide comprehensive care to all sections of society, both rural and urban, combining both clinical care with community outreach programs, surgical advances with rehabilitation services and clinical with basic science research.
The key focus area of this service has been the KIDROP project. In addition, the department has active clinical and research projects in retinal vascular diseases, surgical retinal disorders of the infant retina and retinal imaging using high end OCT, FFA and ICG.
Reaching the correct diagnosis is not always easy in pediatric retinal disorders. The department uses a combination of advanced imaging techniques using the RETCAM Shuttle (Clarity MSI, USA), electrophysiological testing (Electro-Retinogram and Visual Evoked Potential), India’s first hand held SD-OCT (Bioptigen) and a specially developed method to convert the Spectralis (Heidelberg) to perform multi-modal imaging to arrive at the appropriate diagnosis. Appropriate genetic and family counseling is administered in cases of inherited conditions while cases that would gain from surgical intervention are appropriately operated.
Other Common Pediatric Vitreo Retinal Conditions:
The department uses the latest micro-surgical instrumentation that makes advanced surgery for retinal detachment and other conditions in infants possible. Internationally trained surgeons perform surgical procedures using the latest techniques. The department is ably aided by an expert pediatric anesthesia team that is capable of providing safe and effective anesthetic care for infants only a few weeks old.
Doctors of Pediatric Retina Service
Dr. Anand Vinekar