Our mission is to promote research aimed at developing new treatments for eye diseases in general and retinal disease in particular. Additionally we support projects that make available current state-of-the-art eye surgery in remote/developing regions.
In the Western world, retina surgery has become routine practice, due to the standardization of techniques and the optimization of the equipment. Results of this therapy are often very good and few people will go blind nowadays of a retinal disease that can be treated surgically.
Nevertheless, many limitations of our current approach prevent further improvements in outcome.
Scar tissue formation for example is a complication that occurs in about 10% of eyes with a retinal detachment. Once this process has kicked in, several invasive surgical procedures are needed to re-attach the retina. Even if this is eventually successful, function in the affected eye has often become very poor. Till now, we still do not know the exact reason for this phenomenon, we have no way of preventing it and surgical treatment yields mediocre outcome. Unfortunately, a pharmacological solution also does not appear forthcoming. In addition to poor outcome of retinal detachment surgery, scar tissue formation also slows the development for novel surgical techniques like for instance the implantation of retinal prosthesis to treat blind eyes. More information on history, current and future practice of retinal surgery can be found in the thesis by Marc Veckeneer: “Improving the outcome of rhegmatogenous retinal detachment repair by adding pieces to the puzzle. Historical review and recent contributions”.
Apart from promoting research into new treatments, the Retina Repair Foundation also aims to bring knowledge and resources necessary to treat retinal diseases to remote/developing nations. In these settings, facilities to treat complicated eye diseases are very rare. This means that suffering from a retinal disease will usually lead to blindness in the affected eye. We focus on training medical personal first in a Western setting and later on we provide expert support on location. Additionally we raise funds to build up and sustain fully operational eye surgery units.