VICTORIA RETINA aims to :
Provide comprehensive diagnosis, investigation and treatment of patients with retinal disease
Deliver care in a compassionate, efficient and supportive environment
Educate patients and their families about their condition
Provide access to vision rehabilitation and other health care professionals
Dr. Murray Erasmus MD, FRCSC
Dr Erasmus received his undergraduate medical degree from the University of Cape Town, South Africa in 1983. He moved to Canada in 1985 and spent several years working in general practice and pediatrics before completing a residency in ophthalmology in 1991 at the University of Saskatchewan. He then completed his vitreoretinal fellowship at the University of Toronto in 1992.
From 1992 until 2003 Dr Erasmus was an Assistant Clinical Professor in Ophthalmology at the University of Saskatchewan where he was actively involved in medical student and resident training in ophthalmology. He was the Director of the residency training program for 3 years. He became involved in clinical research as well as running a busy retinal practice including surgical and medical management of diseases of the retina and vitreous.
In 2003 Dr Erasmus and his family moved to Victoria, British Columbia where he is enjoying a busy and satisfying career as a retinal surgeon. For many years he was the only surgical retina specialist on Vancouver Island. He was very involved in clinical research being the principal investigator in many International and Canadian drug trials. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor in Ophthalmology at the University of British Columbia and is involved in medical student teaching with the Island Medical Program. Dr Erasmus is very grateful to have the opportunity to live and work in Victoria and to provide a comprehensive retinal service for Vancouver Island.
The Victoria Retina Team
Our staff is highly trained to manage the demands of a busy vitreoretinal practice. From scheduling an appointment, to booking surgical procedures, from documenting your medical history to performing detailed and comprehensive testing, we take pride in providing timely and efficient care delivered with a sense of compassion and support. We understand the anxiety caused by conditions that threaten vision and aim to limit stress through education and commitment to delivering the very best care possible.
Medical Retina Services
Dr Erasmus provides a comprehensive clinical evaluation of all medical retina conditions including dry and wet macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, vein and artery occlusions and disorders, inflammatory and infectious disorders and ocular tumors. He has wide experience in diagnosis of these and other more rare conditions. We have access to a full complement of ocular imaging services including optical coherence tomography, color fundus photography, fluorescein angiography and A and B scan ultrasonography to assist in the diagnostic process. Dr Erasmus uses the full range of injectable drugs including Eylea, Lucentis, Avastin, Kenalog and Jetrea to treat these diseases. In addition he uses a diode laser and Nd:YAG laser to manage many medical retinal and other ocular disorders.
Surgical Retina Services
Dr Erasmus has been providing surgical retinal services since 1992 and has extensive experience in all areas of surgical retinal care. He treats patients with retinal detachments using pneumatic retinopexy procedures, scleral buckling and vitrectomy techniques. He uses small gauge sutureless vitrectomy surgery to operate on a wide variety of retinal and macular conditions including macular holes, epiretinal membranes, dislocated intraocular lenses, vitreous hemorrhages, proliferative retinopathies including diabetes, trauma and a wide variety of other retinal disorders. He has access to and uses state-of-the-art materials including small guage vitrectomy instruments, perfluorocarbon liquids, silicone oil, intraocular gases, endolaser and cryotherapy to best manage complex surgical situations.
Dr Erasmus strives to deliver the highest level of surgical care to each patient in a caring, individualized and personal manner.
Your appointment may last 1-2 hours which may include pupil dilation, vision and other testing, and consultation with Dr Erasmus
Pupil dilation may last 4-6 hours and may blur your vision. Please arrange a driver or alternate transportation if you are to be dilated
Please bring a list of current medications, your current eye-glasses, and any other details of your medical history
Several of the tests you had initially may be repeated for comparison
Usually this will include new OCT pictures, vision testing, eye pressure testing and possibly pupil dilation
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
OCT is a sophisticated imaging test that uses light to take a cross section image of your retina. This allows Dr Erasmus to look in detail at the various different layers of your retina and retinal thickness. This information is crucial in diagnosing retinal diseases, mapping changes over time, and evaluating response to treatment.
In some situations your pupils may be dilated for the OCT examination and in others dilation is not required. We will try to let you know ahead of time if dilation is required or not.
A very bright light is used to obtain the image but be reassured that this light is NOT harmful to your eyes.
The OCT scans your retina without any contact with your eye.
Dr. Erasmus will occasionally order a fluorescein angiogram test. This is a specialized imaging test that allows a detailed and unique look at the retinal circulation and retinal tissues.
This test is carried out at an outpatient clinic at the Royal Jubilee Hospital. Appointment time is 45 to 60 minutes.
You will need to have your pupils dilated for this examination. Please arrange a driver or alternate transportation to get home after the test.
A small amount of a dye called fluorescein will be injected by a registered nurse into a vein in your arm. A series of photographs of your retina will then be taken at various intervals over the next 5 to10 minutes.
A very small percentage of patients experience nausea following injection of the dye but this usually passes within 1 minute. We suggest drinking plenty of water before and after the test to flush out the dye from your system. Please note that your urine may be stained a yellow or orange colour for 24 to 48 hours after this test - this is normal.
What is a vitrectomy?
A vitrectomy is a sophisticated surgical procedure in which the vitreous ( a watery gel that fills the inside cavity of the eyeball) is removed. The vitreous gel is replaced with a special saline solution that closely resembles the natural fluids inside your eye. Your eye will continue to produce natural fluids after the vitrectomy and the saline solution left behind in your eye will quickly be replaced by the natural fluid.
Dr Erasmus uses this procedure to repair many different conditions that affect the eye, including retinal detachment, macular hole, epiretinal membrane, diabetic retinopathy, trauma, lens dislocation and many other conditions.
Anesthesia for your surgery
Most vitrectomy surgeries are performed with regional anesthesia (ie local anesthetic and not general anesthetic). Most commonly Dr Erasmus uses a technique called retrobulbar block during which a local anesthetic solution is injected into the tissues behind the eyeball. Usually this provides complete numbing so you do not feel any pain during the operation. The anesthetic also temporarily removes vision so you do not see anything during the procedure.
There is some discomfort associated with giving the retrobulbar block, but the anesthesiologist assigned to your surgery will administer some intravenous sedation so you are barely aware of the retrobulbar injection. The sedatives are short acting and you will recover from these drugs within a few minutes.