What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Beatty Suiter

Beatty Suiter M.D.

Beatty G. Suiter, MD, earned both his undergraduate degree in microbiology and his medical degree from the University of Kansas. He served as an ophthalmology research fellow at the University of California in San Diego and completed a transitional year internship at Boston University. Dr. Suiter completed his residency in ophthalmology at the University of Kansas where he also served one year as Chief Resident.Dr. Suiter is Board-certified in Ophthalmology and is a member ... View full profile

Melissa Magwire

Melissa Magwire RN
CDE, Diabetes Educator/Panelist

Melissa Magwire, RN, CDE is the nurse, diabetes educator and practice manager for Diabetes & Endocrinology Associates at Shawnee Mission Medical Center.Magwire earned her nursing degree from Johnson County Community College and for 14 years has been a Certified Diabetes Educator through the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators. She is also certified as an insulin pump trainer and is a member of the American Diabetes Association and the American ... View full profile

David Dyer

David Dyer M.D.

David S. Dyer, MD, received his undergraduate degree from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., and graduated from medical school from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City, Kan. He completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Dr. Dyer went on to complete a residency in ophthalmology at the Medical University of South Carolina Storm Eye Institute and two fellowships – one in medical retina at the Wilmer ... View full profile

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Ophthalmologist/Retina Specialist David S. Dyer, MD, of Retina Associates, performs a procedure known as diabetic vitrectomy, which lessens the damage that may have occurred due to diabetic retinopathy, a condition that damages the blood vessels in the retina.

Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in American adults and is the most common diabetic eye disease. Close to fifty percent of people with diabetes have some degree of diabetic retinopathy. These blood vessels are often affected by the high blood sugar levels associated with the disease.

During this procedure, Dyer will make three small openings in the eye, extract the gel from the inside and remove any scarring. He will then perform a laser treatment to prevent the recurrence of abnormal blood vessels. At the end of the procedure Dyer will replace the gel he extracted with a gas, and over three weeks the body absorbs the gas and replaces it with a natural fluid. The procedure usually takes 45 minutes to one hour.

Often there are no symptoms or pain correlating with diabetic retinopathy, so it is important for diabetics to get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year.