Advances in digital angiography have made it possible for physicians to diagnose and treat retinal abnormalities in the same visit. The digital imaging system provides immediate access to high resolution images of a patient’s ocular tissue without waiting days for film development. The images can be reviewed on the monitor or printed out in hard copy.
Having the images readily available allows us to explain the problem and treatment goals better to our patients, and we can provide the images quicker to the referring physicians. The digital system often allows us to treat the problem that day so patients don’t have to make another appointment. Another advantage is that new images can be superimposed on old ones for comparisons, allowing better monitoring of patients’ conditions over time.
Pictures can also be taken of the iris (the colored part of the front of the eye). This procedure is called anterior segment or iris angiography, and is especially important in certain diabetic, vein occlusion, and eye tumor patients to detect early abnormal blood vessel growth (neovascularization) before it is detectable with the naked eye. This can allow earlier treatment, preventing a devastating form of fast-moving glaucoma called neovascular glaucoma.