The retina in the posterior part of the eye with its nerve cells (rods and cones) is responsible for vision. It is kept in position by the vitreous body. When the vitreous body is affected by disease, the retina can become detached and blindness can ensue. Prophylactic retinopexy is recommended to prevent this from happening.
What happens in retinopexy?
Retinopexy is performed by laser. The laser beam is aimed at the retina through the cornea, pupil, lens and vitreous body. It is not necessary to open the eye surgically.
For which diseases / conditions is retinopexy recommended?
Prophylactic retinopexy is typically performed 4-6 weeks after removal of a lens (due to lens dislocation). Changes in the vitreous body (liquefaction or deformities, vitreous body dysplasia e.g., in Jack Russell terriers) can lead to retinal detachment. In this situation, an operation is reasonable to preserve vision. For congenital anomalies such as collie eye anomaly (CEA), partial attachment of the retina can be helpful.
How is the operation done?
Since your cat needs a general anaesthetic for the procedure, it is important that he or she is not given any solid food for 12 hours before it. If you are using eye drops to constrict the pupils, these must usually be stopped 12-24 h before the operation. Your vet will inform you about this.
Are there complications?
Complications are not expected with this operation, but naturally the usual anaesthetic risk of an operation persists. The operation is planned and performed carefully. In our experience, detachment is prevented effectively in a good 80% of cases.
What is the postoperative treatment?
We do a check-up about 5 days after the operation. In this period you give your cat antibiotic eye drops and anti-inflammatory tablets. It is not necessary to wear a neck collar.
© AniCura, Teresa Keiditsch