Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a disease that occurs in premature babies. It causes abnormal blood vessels to grow in the retina, the layer of nerve tissue in the eye that enables us to see. This growth can cause the retina to detach from the back of the eye, leading to blindness.
Some cases of ROP are mild and correct themselves, but others require surgery to prevent vision loss or blindness. Surgery involves using a laser or other means to stop the growth of the abnormal blood vessels, making sure they don't pull on the retina.
Because there are varying degrees of ROP, the surgical approach used can differ for each case. The more you know about retinopathy of prematurity and your baby's surgery, the easier the experience is likely to be for you.
Please watch the videos below for more information.
Filmed on location in the NICU, a pediatric ophthalmologist describes the potentially blinding disease, retinopathy of prematurity. ROP is due to abnormal blood vessel growth driven by chemicals generated in the avascular retina. Time lapse Retcam images from Dr. Anna Els show disease progression and treatment impact.
ROP (retinopathy of prematurity) is a major cause of blindness in premature infants due to abnormal blood vessel growth stimulated by chemical factors like VEGF. Neonatologists screen and ophthalmologists stage ROP in the NICU. If ROP reaches a bad, threshold stage, then treatment is recommended to prevent scarring and reduce the risk of blindness. Treatment can include cryotherapy and intraocular injection. This video highlights laser treatment for threshold ROP.