Subfoveal choroidal neovascular membrane is a leading cause of legal blindness. Photocoagulation has been effective, but photocoagulation of the fovea causes a decrease in vision immediately after treatment. Surgical removal of the choroidal neovascular membrane is effective for choroidal neovascular membrane in some cases, but it restores useful vision for reading (20/40 or better) in a small number of cases of choroidal neovascular membrane not due to presumed ocular histoplasmosis syndrome. A new treatment for subfoveal choroidal neovascular membrane, foveal translocation, is an innovative procedure in which the fovea is translocated onto healthier retinal pigment epithelium. Three techniques have been developed to relocate the retina, 2 of which (retinotomy and scleral shortening) we performed in 5 cases each. Preliminary results in these 10 cases indicate that foveal translocation provides improvement of visual acuity in 40% of eyes and final visual acuities useful for reading (better than 20/40) in 20% of eyes undergoing translocation with either technique. Further study is essential to refine the amount of translocation needed and to decrease complications of the 2 techniques, including retinal detachment, proliferative vitreoretinopathy, macular pucker, corneal astigmatism, and constricted visual field.
Copyright 1998 W.B. Saunders Company.