Let’s face it, surgeons are surgeons. Ophthalmologists are trained as surgeons, and, whether they gravitate toward the anterior or posterior segment after their residency, surgery is what they do. So, despite a climate of decreasing reimbursement for vision-saving surgical procedures, many retina specialists continue to center their practices around surgery.
Some retina specialists first fell in love with the posterior segment because they were attracted to the elegance of retinal surgery. Others perhaps found the heterogeneous nature of surgical pathologies a stimulating intellectual challenge, a new puzzle to be solved in the OR with the same pieces each time. Perhaps others saw surgery as the marriage between biology and physics, and felt that, even more than pharmacotherapy, surgery was the apex of medical intervention.
Whatever the case, surgery is the centerpiece of the retina specialist’s métier. It is for all of these reasons that we have dedicated this entire issue of Retina Today to retina surgery. Sure, we reserve space in each issue for surgical pearls and international commentary on surgery, but we felt that the topic deserved its own cover focus because of the outsize role it plays in our practices.
Surgical discussions at major meetings often feature panels of surgeons discussing their tactics for managing particular pathologies. As participants and observers of such panels, we recognize the value of hearing the perspectives of multiple experts. In this issue, María H. Berrocal, MD, and Sunir J. Garg, MD, FACS, have both contributed articles about the management of retinal detachments caused by giant retinal tears. We know our audience—particularly the younger segment—will find the information shared by these two surgical masters useful.
We are all scientists at heart, and surgery awakes the slumbering engineers in each of us. Fabio Patelli, MD, checks in with a cover story about the engineering of one particular vitrectomy platform and adjuncts his article with a series of Eyetube videos. Thinking about how the small adjustments in a vitrectomy platform can have outsize consequences should tickle all of our curiosities.
Speaking of small, we asked a group of surgeons to share with our readers their favorite surgical instruments. Although these tools be but little, they are fierce. These authors’ brief testimonials provide firsthand accounts of how and why such devices can improve safety and efficiency in the OR.
We would be remiss, in this surgical issue, if we didn’t remind you about Eyetube, Retina Today’s sister site and ophthalmology surgery video database. If you’re preparing for a complex case or you want to check in on what your colleagues are doing in the OR, visit Eyetube and navigate to the retina channel.
Allen C. Ho, MD
Chief Medical Editor
Robert L. Avery, MD
Chief Medical Editor