Rescue of retinal function by macular translocation surgery in age-related macular degeneration and other diseases with subfoveal choroidal neovascularization

Nagoya J Med Sci. 2001 May;64(1-2):1-9.


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of legal blindness among the elderly. In AMD and some other macular diseases, subfoveal choroidal neovascularization (CNV) damages the underlying retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), and because retinal function is dependent on a healthy RPE, vision is markedly reduced by a subfoveal CNV. To treat such CNVs, macular translocation surgery has been performed to move the sensory retina from the damaged RPE to healthier RPE. At present, this surgery is the only possible treatment to improve the visual acuity of patients with subfoveal CNV. Macular translocation surgery involves the detachment of the entire retina from the RPE by a subretinal infusion of fluid and creating a 360 degrees circumferential retinotomy followed by the rotation of the retina. Severe postoperative complications such as recurrent retinal detachment have been reported in about 30% of the cases after macular translocation. To determine the efficacy of this surgery, it is necessary to demonstrate an improvement in macular and overall retinal function objectively as well as subjectively. To this end, we have assessed the changes in visual function by measuring the visual acuity subjectively, and the macular function objectively by focal macular ERGs (FERGs). We shall show that there is an improvement in the FERGs in most patients after retinal translocation surgery but the full-field ERGs were reduced by about 30%. Thus, macular translocation surgery with 360-degree retinotomy may be feasible for macular function, although some degree of peripheral retinal function is lost.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / physiopathology
  • Choroidal Neovascularization / surgery*
  • Electroretinography
  • Humans
  • Macula Lutea / surgery*
  • Macular Degeneration / physiopathology
  • Macular Degeneration / surgery*
  • Middle Aged
  • Retina / physiology
  • Retina / surgery*
  • Visual Acuity*