The macula is the central area in the center of the retina where light is sharply focused to produce the detailed color vision needed for tasks such as reading and driving. The most common conditions that could require macular surgery are macular holes and epiretinal membrane.
A macular hole is a full-thickness defect that can develop in the central macula or fovea. It commonly affects people over the age of 55 and most often occurs in women. Most cases develop spontaneously without an obvious cause. If a macular hole develops in one eye, there is a 5% to 15% risk of one developing in the other eye.
Epiretinal membranes (sometimes called cellophane maculopathy or macular pucker) are fibrocellular membranes that form on the inner surface of the retina. Usually, they can be observed and do not progress, but some cases can result in painless loss of vision and visual distortion.
The retinal surgeons at the Byers Eye Institute at Stanford use the latest diagnostic tools, cameras and retinal scanners to diagnose and monitor the progression of macular holes and epiretinal membranes. When necessary to preserve vision, they will perform surgery to close macular holes or skillfully remove epiretinal membranes. Our doctors are fully committed to maximizing visual outcomes for their patients.