THE RETINA SERVICE

AT CLARUS EYE CENTRE

Cataract

THE RETINA SERVICE

The Retina Service at Clarus offers advanced care for diseases of the retina, macula, and vitreous using a range of advanced medical and surgical treatments. 

The Retina Service is comprised of Dr. Jane Myung and Dr. Penny Reck; both are board-certified ophthalmologists who are highly trained retina subspecialists. They have completed medical school, medical internships, specialized ophthalmology training, and additional two-year fellowships in retina repair eye surgery. Our retina specialists provide compassionate care and are committed to patients, their families, and their referring doctors. 

Learn more below!  

WHAT IS THE RETINA?

The retina is often described as “the back part of the eye”. The retina is a thin tissue that lines the back of the eye. It is made up of light-sensitive cells called photoreceptors. The macula is the central part of the retina with the highest congregation of photoreceptors. This dense area of photoreceptors gives us sharp and detailed vision. Light rays travel through the eye and enter the back of the eye. Light rays focus on the macula and stimulate the photoreceptors, which convert light into electrical signals. These signals are sent to the brain. The brain processes that information as sight.

Another part of the back of the eye is the vitreous body, or more commonly referred to as “the vitreous”. The vitreous is a clear gel that fills the space between the retina and the lens.

A variety of diseases and conditions may affect the retina, macula, and vitreous. These may include age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy (also known as diabetic eye disease), retinal tears, retinal detachments, macular holes, or macular puckers. Left unchecked, they may result in decreased vision or lead to blindness. 

WHAT IS A RETINA SPECIALIST?

A retina specialist is a highly trained medical doctor. These doctors have graduated from medical school and completed medical internships and specialized ophthalmology residency training with additional fellowships in diseases of the retina and vitreous body of the eye. Sometimes a retina specialist is referred to as a “vitreoretinal specialist” or “retinologist”.

Fellowship training for retina specialists varies. One-year fellowships are available for extra training in vitreoretinal diseases without additional surgical training; these physicians’ specialties are referred to as “medical retina”. One- or two-year fellowship programs include retina surgical training, in addition to training in the medical management of vitreoretinal diseases. Another term for these types of retina specialists is “retina surgeons”.

WHY HAVE I BEEN SENT TO A RETINA SPECIALIST?

If your retina is damaged and requires retina repair eye surgery, or your doctor suspects there are issues affecting your retina, your doctor may refer you to a retina specialist.

A retina specialist has unique skills to evaluate, diagnose and treat a very specific portion of the human visual system. Retina specialists perform medical treatments and surgical procedures which are extremely exacting. Retina surgeries performed in the operating room require a microscope and are referred to as “microsurgery”. Special lenses are used in addition to the microscope to visualize the back of the eye. Retina surgeons operate on very delicate tissues in an incredibly tiny space, which is why it's so important to entrust your retina care to experienced retina specialists. 

HOW CAN I FIND THE BEST RETINA SPECIALIST NEAR ME?

First, it is important to confirm that your retina specialist is highly or fellowship-trained. Next, pay attention to the specialist’s title. Fellowship training for retina specialists varies; the degree and type of training is reflected in their specialty. A “medical retina” specialist has completed a one-year fellowship with extra training in vitreoretinal diseases, but without additional surgical training. A “retina surgeon” has undergone a one-year or two-year fellowship program that includes retina surgical training, in addition to training of medical management of vitreoretinal diseases. If you anticipate needing retina eye repair surgery, seek out a retina surgeon. The Retina Service at Clarus Eye Centre in Olympia, Washington is comprised of fellowship-trained retina surgeons who are highly experienced in providing advanced retina care.

HOW TO REFER A PATIENT

For Referring Providers: Our Commitment to You

Thank you for entrusting us with the care of your patients. Our goal is to deliver to your patient's excellent retina care as soon as possible. We also believe that the best care for a patient is through a collaborative effort. After we see your patient, we will communicate with you our findings and recommendations. Additionally, we will convey the importance of integrating our retina care with yours, in order to optimize the overall visual health of your patient. From start to finish, we will work with you, and reinforce to your patient your role as their continued provider.

We are happy to speak with you over the phone and welcome your comments.

How to Refer a Patient:

You may refer to us by phone or by facsimile. Time-sensitive referrals (urgent/emergent) are best initiated over the phone. Refer by phone: Please call our main clinic number at (360) 456-3200. The operator will transfer you to our Retina Service Coordinator. We will ask for the following information to begin scheduling the patient in our system:

  • Patient’s name
  • Patient’s date of birth
  • Patient’s contact information: phone number and mailing address
  • Patient’s insurance(s)
  • Reason for appointment

Our coordinator will request the following information be faxed to (360) 456-3894, following your phone call:

  • On the cover page, please note: “Attention: Retina Service Coordinator”
  • A copy of your patient’s demographics form that includes name, date of birth, insurance information, mailing address, phone number
  • A copy of the patient’s recent visit with you, including the patient’s past medical and surgical history
  • A current list of the patient’s medications and allergies

Refer by fax:

Please fax your referral request to (360) 456-3894 and the following information:

  • On the cover page, please note: “Attention: Retina Service Coordinator”
  • A copy of your patient’s demographics form that includes name, date of birth, insurance information, mailing address, phone number
  • Reason for the referral
  • A copy of the patient’s recent visit with you, including the patient’s past medical and surgical history
  • A current list of the patient’s medications and allergies
WHAT CAN I EXPECT WHEN I VISIT THE RETINA SERVICE AT CLARUS?

First and foremost, we thank you for entrusting our team with your retina care! 

When you first visit The Retina Service, we will need a detailed, comprehensive dilated eye exam to diagnose retinal and/or vitreous disease. Your exam may also require testing with highly technical equipment.

Our staff will provide you with a folder that describes the various types of testing and procedures performed in our clinic or in the operating room. Please use the information in the folder you are given as detailed references. For a general overview of your visit prior to arrival, please review the sheet: “What to Expect at your Retina Appointment”. Any of the procedures listed on the other sheets will be discussed with you prior to undergoing the procedure if it is recommended.

If this is your first visit with The Retina Service, please understand that any information shared with you is for educational purposes; you are not automatically going to undergo each procedure upon your arrival. We find that it is helpful to understand the process behind the different modalities we may enlist in order to deliver the highest quality care to you. 

OUR RETINA SPECIALISTS