Premature babies can face a number of health challenges. One of the more common is called “retinopathy of prematurity” (ROP). It causes abnormal blood vessels to grow in a baby’s retina (the layer of nerve tissue that allows your baby to see). ROP has no signs or symptoms when it first develops in a newborn. The only way to detect it is through an eye examination by an ophthalmologist (eye specialist).
Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP)
Prompt Care to Protect Your Baby’s Vision
Retinopathy of Prematurity Services We Offer
The smaller and more premature a baby is at birth, the greater the risk for developing retinopathy of prematurity. ROP may go away on its own without any problems. But babies need surgery if ROP causes scarring and pulls the retina away from the rest of the eye.
If your baby needs an operation, our eye surgeons can often stop the abnormal vessel growth with laser surgery. Also called “laser therapy” or “photocoagulation,” laser surgery uses precisely targeted laser beams instead of a scalpel.
For more advanced cases where the retina is detached, treatment may involve:
- scleral buckling, placing a flexible band (usually made of silicone) around the eye
- vitrectomy, replacing the vitreous (clear gel in the center of the eye) with a saline solution
At Nemours, our children’s eye care teams will treat your baby as we would our own. Their safety and comfort are our top priorities.
Why Choose Us for ROP Care
Our pediatric ophthalmologists are board-certified and fellowship-trained. That means we know how to treat children with all kinds of eye conditions, including ROP. Our doctors and surgeons have special expertise in treating complex eye issues in premature babies. We’re also researchers, working every day to find new and better ways to childhood eye disorders.
Regional ROP Highlights
Services, programs and care teams differ at each location. Call for details.
Find convenient and complete retinopathy of prematurity care at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children (Wilmington, Del.) and select satellite Nemours duPont Pediatrics locations. Our medical and surgical services are provided directly by fellowship-trained pediatric ophthalmologists. And we’re part of a multicenter collaborative network, the Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group, working with hundreds of children’s eye care experts nationwide to research eye disorders.
We offer complete eye care for children with retinopathy of prematurity at Nemours Children’s Hospital (Orlando) and select satellite Nemours Children’s Specialty Care locations. Our ophthalmologist and certified orthoptist (an eye movement and diagnostic specialist) are trained and equipped to diagnose and treat ROP.
Get leading retinopathy of prematurity care at Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, Jacksonville, and select satellite locations. Our pediatric eye experts helped set the standard for diagnosing ROP. We developed a single-use sterile exam kit that makes testing safer and lessens the chance of infection. The test created by our doctors is now used in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) across the country. We’re also part of a multicenter collaborative network, the Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group, working with hundreds of children’s eye care experts nationwide to research eye disorders.