Retinal surgery in St. Louis began over 50 years ago.  It is the story of a clinical entity that became Retina Consultants, then the Barnes Retina Institute and ultimately it formed The Retina Institute.

Paul Cibis arrived in the mid-1950s and set the standard for innovative and dynamic surgical techniques in the early days by advancing scleral buckling techniques, introducing the use of silicone oil, and making widespread use of xenon arc photocoagulation.  Ed Okun, in the early 60s joined Paul, who died suddenly of a heart attack in 1965. Glen Johnston, Isaac Boniuk, Neva Arribas, Dean Burgess, Rich Escoffery and Gil Grand joined Dr. Okun as Retina Consultants developed.

Ed made prodigious advances in photocoagulation treatment of diabetic retinopathy and the newer vitrectomy techniques. Retina Consultants contributed to advances in fluorescein angiography and the treatment of macular disease. The group was an active participant in several early studies directed by the National Eye Institute. Training of fellows continued, with the practice becoming widely known nationally and internationally. As instrumentation and lasers proliferated, the size of the group grew to nine with more and more clinical success.

Soon the practice became involved in many prospective, randomized clinical trials studying diabetic retinopathy, cystoid macular edema, new vitrectomy instrumentation, and finally making significant contributions in the management of age-related macular degeneration.

The practice continues to make significant contributions to the field and is recognized as one of the premier groups in the country.  The names have changed, but with the consolidating efforts of Drs. Gil Grand, Gaurav Shah, Kevin Blinder, Dan Joseph, Nick Engelbrecht, Matt Thomas, Kim Krummenacher, Brad Smith and Richard Rothman, The Retina Institute will continue to advance our understanding and management of vitreoretinal disease.

Dr. Paul Cibis

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