Discovering that your premature baby has Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) can be quite jarring and confusing at first. Many new parents have never even heard of ROP and do not understand the various stages of this condition and how it will affect their child in the long run. If a baby has very mild ROP, the doctor may not pursue any kind of ROP treatment right away; there are many situations where the condition is able to correct itself without any kind of intervention. However, if the ROP progresses, your doctor needs to act quickly to stop any more damage from occurring. If a child has Stage III–Stage V ROP, the National Eye Institute notes that treatment options a doctor may consider are:


  • Laser therapy – using a laser, this burns away the periphery of the retina which has no normal blood vessels.


  • Cryotherapy – for cryotherapy, doctors use an instrument that freezes spots on the surface of the eye that overlie the periphery of the retina.


  • Scleral buckle – this is generally only for Stage IV or V ROP and it involves putting a silicone band around the eye and tightening it. This keeps the vitreous gel from pulling on the scar tissue, allowing the retina to flatten back down. The band must be removed in later years, or even months, because it's not able to accommodate a growing eye and can cause the child to eventually become nearsighted.


  • Vitrectomy – this is when the doctor removes the vitreous and replaces it with a saline solution. Once the vitreous is gone, the scar tissue on the retina is peeled back or cut away. Vitrectomy is really only an option for Stage V.


It is important to remember that although some treatments are highly successful, some are not. Even if they are performed correctly, not all children will respond the same way and there are high chances of additional side effects.


If your child is suffering from ROP because of the negligence of a medical professional, contact the ROP attorneys at The Girards Law Firm for a free consultation at 888-333-9709.