Appointments are available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. New patient consultations should be arranged through your primary eye doctor, with the approval of your primary care physician if required by your insurance. We limit our practice to diseases and surgery of the retina, and do not prescribe glasses or contact lenses.
We strongly urge you to have a driver to transport you, because your vision will likely be impaired following your exam or treatment.
Your appointment can be arranged at any of our office locations in Edina, Plymouth, St. Cloud, St. Paul, Duluth, or Blaine, Minnesota.
Upon your arrival in our office, VRS staff will enter or update your registration and insurance information. It is very important that you have your insurance card(s) with you to avoid delays.
You will be asked for a list of your current medications and previous health history.
Your vision and intraocular pressure will be checked. This may include:
Using a specialized digital camera system, photos of the retina are taken. This is a non-invasive procedure that takes only a few minutes.
This test is performed by injecting a special dye, called fluorescein, into a vein in your arm or hand. In just seconds, the dye travels to the blood vessels inside the eye. A digital camera system equipped with special filters that highlight the dye is used to photograph the fluorescein as it circulates through the blood vessels in the back part of the eye. If there are any circulation problems, swelling, leaking or abnormal blood vessels, the dye and its patterns will reveal these in the photographs. The doctor is then able to make a determination as to the diagnosis and possible treatment options. Because these are done with a digital system, the results are available immediately.
This is a test the doctor may use if the view inside the eye is decreased, or to better view any masses within the eye. This test is performed by placing a probe on the eyelid, with the lids closed. This only takes a few minutes, and the doctor has results immediately.
Ocular Coherence Tomography or OCT
This is a non-contact, noninvasive imaging technique used to obtain high resolution images of the retina. This only takes a few minutes and the doctor has the results immediately.
Depending on the complexity of your problem, your first visit with us may require over 2 hours. If special diagnostic testing and/or laser treatment is necessary, you may need to be in our office for half a day. To perform an adequate retinal examination, it is necessary to dilate your pupils at each visit. Because this may blur your vision for 12 to 24 hours and make your eyes sensitive to light, you should arrange to have someone drive you home. Sunglasses may make you more comfortable during your trip home following your appointment.
An Ophthalmic Technician will initially greet you, and will note your present problem and record a detailed ocular and medical history. Please bring the names, addresses and phone numbers of the doctors involved in your care so we may keep them informed about your diagnosis and treatment. You will be asked for a list of your current medications. Your vision and intraocular pressures will be measured and eye drops will be used to dilate your pupils. Pupillary dilation requires up to 30 minutes.
Your physician will then perform a thorough ophthalmological and vitreoretinal examination. If necessary, additional diagnostic testing will then be done. This may include retinal photography, fluorescein angiography, ocular ultrasound and visual field testing.
Once your examination and any additional tests are completed, your physician will explain the results to you. The doctor will take all the time necessary to explain your specific problem(s) and to outline a course of action.
We encourage you to bring a close family member along for the examination and explanation to be certain that all of your questions are answered and that the doctor’s recommendations are fully understood.
A complete consultation report will be sent to your referring eye doctor and to your family doctor.
Treatment, if necessary, may include medications, laser photocoagulation and/or operating room surgery. If medications are needed, your physician will explain the rationale for the medication(s) chosen and will provide prescriptions and instructions.
Laser treatments are performed in our office and are done with local anesthesia. It may be necessary to schedule laser treatments to be performed at a later date following your consultation visit. If the need for treatment is urgent or if you are traveling a distance that makes such future scheduling difficult for you, laser treatment may be performed on the same day as your consultation visit. In this case, the time you spend in our office may be longer than expected; we strive to accommodate your need for urgent treatment yet stay on schedule for other patients’ appointments. Since an eye patch may be needed over the treated eye for several hours following the procedure, you will need to bring a driver to take you home.
If operating room surgery is required, it will be scheduled at one of our affiliated hospitals. Depending on the nature and urgency of your particular condition, surgery may be done the same day as your consultation, the following day, or scheduled at an appropriate time in the future. Most surgical procedures are done in outpatient same-day surgery (without hospital admission) or with one night in the hospital. After surgery, you will be given complete instructions for post-operative care.
If same-day surgery is anticipated, and you are from outside the Twin Cities metropolitan area, we can advise you of local hotels for you and your family. You will need to return to one of our offices the day after surgery for your first post-operative check-up.
Health plans usually require preauthorization for surgery. Most patients will need to have had a physical examination completed by their primary care physician within 30 days prior to surgery.
Looking for additional information about ophthalmology? Since our website can’t contain everything about our procedures, we have provided, below, a list of sites that will help with your search for information.