Leading Ophthalmology Expert Witness Evaluates Permanent Vision Loss After Retinal Detachment

    Ophthalmology expert witnessThis visual impairment case involves a patient who suffered a retinal detachment. The repair procedure was complicated by a suprachoroidal hemorrhage. The patient returned to the hospital some time after the initial injury reporting vision loss, pain, and redness. He was diagnosed with recurrent retinal detachment, and was told that he needed to wait for the return of his treating ophthalmologist to proceed with the procedure to reattach his retina. A week later, the procedure was performed. The patient suffers from permanent vision loss, allegedly due to the delay in care he received.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Do you routinely perform retinal detachment repairs?
    • 2. Can you speak to complications that can occur during retinal detachment repair, such as a suprachoroidal hemorrhage?
    • 3. Are you familiar with patients who have recurrent retinal detachment?
    • 4. Can you speak to the correlation between timely repair of retinal detachment and long term side effects, such as vision loss?

    Expert Witness Response E-009450

    I routinely treat patients with rhegmatogenous and complex retinal detachments. The success rate of retinal reattachment varies from approximately 60-90% depending on the anatomical features of the presenting detachment. I am able to definitively speak to complications that occur during retinal detachment repair including suprachoroidal hemorrhages, recurrent detachment, and proliferative vitreoretinopathy. Depending on the configuration of the retinal detachment, there are guidelines to how quickly a repair should be done, and I am able to fully disclose the standard of care in the field. I am involved in resident/fellowship training in the clinic and operating room on a daily basis. I am a fellowship trained, board certified vitreoretinal surgeon and have performing retinal detachment repairs for the past 6 years with approximately 350 67108/67113 coded procedures. My surgical approach utilizes state-of-the art sutureless 25-gauge vitrectomy surgery which is often combined with scleral buckling depending on the retinal configuration. With these techniques, I have successfully repaired first time detachment, recurrent detachment, and complex detachments due to proliferative vitreoretinopathy and diabetic retinopathy.  I also teach residents and fellows techniques in vitreoretinal surgery through hands-on experience in the operating room and through lectures. Lastly, I am an NIH funded physician-scientist specializing in vitreoretinal biology and disease and have a full-time laboratory investigating molecular mechanisms of cells death in the retina.

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