What to expect

What to expect

Retinology Institute patients can rest assured they will receive the highest level of care during their consultation and treatment. We are here to make your experience worry-free.

For your safety and comfort, we suggest not driving to your appointment as your eyes will be dilated with drops to facilitate examination of the retina and other internal structures of the eye. The drops may blur your vision and increase sensitivity to light, therefore we recommend you don’t drive and you bring sunglasses. Your eyes may be more sensitive to glare until the drops wear off.

Before your consultation with A/Prof Heriot, you will see two or more Allied Health practitioners who will test your vision and check your eye health to assist in the diagnosis and management of your condition. While the majority of the eye tests and scans are non-invasive, some tests require a bright light similar to a camera flash.

Tests you may have

During the preliminary examination, you will undergo a vision test to quantify the clarity of your distance and near vision. Please note that A/Prof Heriot is a retinal physician and surgeon and does not prescribe or dispense glasses or contact lenses.

The pupil dilating drops will be instilled and Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT) scans performed to provide very highly detailed images of the retina and macula.

Read on for an overview of the testing methods you might expect during your consultation at Retinology Institute.

OCT Scans
A very fine scanning light beam is projected into the eye through the pupil to create a three-dimensional (3D) image of the retina. This scan reveals detail within the multiple retinal layers in a similar way to an ultrasound. Different disease processes affect different layers of the retina and deeper tissues, so this is a breakthrough in diagnostic accuracy.

Retinal Angiography (Angio)
Assessment of blood flow in, around and out of the retina is critical for accurate diagnosis of many retinal diseases. While you comfortably rest on a supporting headrest, a very small amount of fluorescent dye is injected into a blood vessel in your hand or arm, while the retina is scanned. Multiple images are recorded digitally. This a 10 to 15-minute test that only involves sitting still, keeping your eyes open and following a target. Although the light is a bit bright, it is not at all harmful. Both fluorescein and indocyanine green angiography are performed here.

Visual Field Testing

This measures the sensitivity and range of your central and peripheral vision. It provides information about any damage to visual nerves within the retina, the optic nerve and the brain. This can also assess the horizontal range of vision (Esterman Fields) that VicRoads frequently requires for licence renewal in diabetics.

Macular Perimetry with the MAIA Macula Integrity Assessment device.

Similar to the peripheral visual field test, this device assesses macula sensitivity with a standardised and reproducible test pattern. The macula is the area in the eye responsible for clarity and colour vision. This test gives us unique information about macular function. It is particularly important in assessing macula degeneration severity and reading difficulties.

Biometry

The measurement of eyeball length and the curvature of the front of your eye is essential to guide selection of the most suitable intraocular lens for your eye if cataract surgery is planned.

B-scan Ultrasonography

Ultrasonography generates a cross-sectional view of the back of your eye including all the structures within it, such as the lens, vitreous and retina. It provides critical information about any retinal detachment or displacement of eye structures and the size of tumour.

Corneal Topography

This is used to measure the curvature of the front of the eye: your cornea. It is used in conjunction with biometry (measurement of the internal length of the eye) in preparation for cataract surgery and provides additional information for selecting a suitable intraocular lens.