A day at the retinal dystrophy clinic might be very different from a typical doctor's visit; this is because the retinal diseases that we encounter can be very complicated and require extensive testing in order for us to give you our most comprehensive care!
Here is how a typical day at the retinal dystrophy clinic will go:
Most patients are asked to come in the morning to begin the necessary testing for the day. Usually we start by testing your visual fields; this is a way to map out your central and peripheral vision in a way that let's us "see what you can see". The specific type of visual field test we use in our clinic is the "Goldmann visual field", which may be different from previous visual field assessments that you have had. This test takes a bit longer than usual visual field testing, but it is the best standard when evaluating patients with retinal dystrophies.
Afterwards, patients will be seen by our nurses to have blood samples taken. Blood samples are necessary for the genetic testing that will be done for every patient. There are many important implications for genetic testing, from confirming diagnosis to planning future treatment! For more details see our patient information pages and/or the frequently asked questions page.
Lastly, there may be some patients who are scheduled for electroretinograms (ERG; a test to evaluate retinal function) - this is typically also performed during the morning of clinic with Dr. Allison Dorfman.
At noon (which is usually when these first tests are completed) patients are given time to go have lunch, and asked to return at around 1:00 pm.
When you return in the afternoon, our team of residents, doctors, and technicians will see you for various tests including fundus photography (pictures of your retina), OCT (ocular coherence tomography; a technique that allows us to see the layers of your retina) and a brief medical interview where we discuss your health, symptoms, and family history.
At the end of the day when all the testing has been completed, Dr. Koenekoop will review all the information for your case. You will then be seen by the entire team in a session led by Dr. Koenekoop, where we will discuss your diagnosis, genetics, and answer any questions you might have!
We look forward to seeing you!