Andrew A. Dahl, MD, is a board-certified ophthalmologist. Dr. Dahl's educational background includes a BA with Honors and Distinction from Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, and an MD from Cornell University, where he was selected for Alpha Omega Alpha, the national medical honor society. He had an internal medical internship at the New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Surgical treatment of diabetic eye disease most commonly involves treatment of the retina with an argon laser.
For background diabetic retinopathy, focal/macular photocoagulation or
grid macular photocoagulation is performed. During this laser treatment, performed in an ophthalmologist's office, a highly focused beam of laser light is used to treat the leaking blood vessels or to treat the area of retinal swelling.
For proliferative diabetic retinopathy, panretinal photocoagulation (PRP) is performed. During this treatment, the entire retina, except for the macula (the center of the retina), is treated with laser spots to decrease the oxygen demand of the retina and remove the need for these new blood vessels to grow.
If extensive growth of new blood vessels, extensive scar tissue formation, tractional retinal detachment, or severe bleeding inside the eye has occurred, a
vitrectomy is performed. During a vitrectomy, usually performed in an operating room at a hospital
or an out-patient surgical center,, the vitreous (a gel-like fluid) and the blood inside the eye are removed and replaced with a clear fluid. In some of these cases, a vitrectomy combined with laser treatment and/or retinal detachment surgery is required.