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Method and apparatus for performing surgery inside the human retina using fluidic internal limiting membrane (ILM) seperation (FILMS)

Image Number 3 for United States Patent #6024719.

A method and apparatus for performing surgery inside the human retina using fluidic internal limiting membrane separation (FILMS) to remove the internal limiting retinal layer from the neural retinal layer at the macula. The method comprises inserting a hollow microcannula between the retinal internal limiting membrane and the neural retinal layer at or near the macula and injecting a sterile fluid, such as sodium hyaluronate, through said microcannula and thereby raising the macular internal limiting membrane retinal layer away from the neural retina such that it can then be removed by conventional means, while simultaneously smoothing the neural retina by localized pressure tamponad. The apparatus comprises a hollow microcannula having a proximal end a distal end and a distal tip. The distal end is shaped to conform tangentially to the surface of the retina. The distal tip is sharply beveled and adapted to discharge a fluid substance and to easily insert under the internal limiting membrane retinal layer and achieve occlusion of the lumen upon minimal insertion, and is sufficiently microscopic as to not substantially injure the neural retina when introduced under the ILM.

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