Innova Ocular - ICO Barcelona

Vitreoretinal Unit

Where light is converted into nerve impulses, fundamental step in the visual phenomenon.

The retina is the light-sensitive film that covers the posterior, innermost wall of the eye. It is here that light stimuli are encoded and converted into nerve impulses and sent to the brain via the optic nerve. Vitreous humour is the clear gel that fills the posterior chamber of the eyeball. Retinologists treat common and serious eye diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or retinal detachment, with a high level of success.

The Vitreoretinal Unit is led by Dr Ignacio Vela with the assistance of Dr Jaume Crespí, Dr Carme Macià, Dr Jesús Díaz and Dr David Andreu.

Over the past 15 years, knowledge of the retina and vitreous humour has developed remarkably. Imaging techniques (Fluorescein Angiography (FA), Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), ultrasound) give us detailed images of the affected structures.

Sophisticated microsurgical instruments in the field of vitrectomy allow us to successfully operate on major diseases such as diabetes-related eye conditions, retinal detachment or severe trauma. Thanks to macular surgery (epimacular membrane, macular hole, etc.), we can now restore sight in previously incurable situations. Vitrectomy has revolutionised the field of vitreoretinal surgery thanks to the fact that it is a minimally-invasive, outpatient procedure with fast recovery time.

New drugs, such as anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drugs, injected into the intraocular space, reduce the effects of neovascularisation that can appear in AMD (age-related macular degeneration), high myopia or diabetes-related eye conditions.

  • Certain symptoms must be referred to the ophthalmologist due to their importance:
  • The sudden appearance of drifting dark spots, or floaters, (myodesopsia) or flashes (photopsia) in the visual field, which may indicate a retinal tear, a precursor for retinal detachment.
  • A change in the shape of images (metamorphopsia) tells us that the macula (centre of the retina) is deformed, a symptom of many maculopathies.
  • If you have diabetes, you must follow the instructions of your endocrinologist and have regular preventive eye exams. Any visual symptom must be examined, however irrelevant it may seem. The retina must also be monitored closely in high myopia due to the increased risk of detachment with this disorder.

What work does the Vitreoretinal Unit do? 

  1. Medical and surgical treatment of: diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachment, age-related macular degeneration, trauma, maculopathies...
  2. Laser photocoagulation 
  3. Posterior vitrectomy
  4. Injection of intraocular drugs
  5. Genetic study of hereditary diseases, etc.
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