Purpose:

To describe the progressive morphological changes of the retinal surface after internal limiting membrane peeling (ILM) for epiretinal membrane (ERM) surgery visualized with en face optical coherence tomography of the retinal surface. (en face OCT-ret surf)

Methods:

Preoperative and postoperative en face OCT images of the inner face of the macula were obtained from 20 eyes of 20 patients undergoing vitrectomy with ILM peeling for ERM with a 3 months minimal follow-up.

Results:

Preoperatively, ERM could appear as a plaque surrounded by radiating folds or retinal starfold. En face OCT-ret surf also visualized areas of sharp vitreous detachment, areas of detachment of the membrane from the retina and possible retraction of the ERM with ILM tearing and nerve fiber layer exposure.
Postoperatively, a rough retinal surface was visible in the peeled area during the first postoperative month. At 3 months, various amounts of dimples were progressively observed. They lasted or increased in size and number at the last follow-up examination. Some residual epiretinal tissue was also detected by this technique.

Conclusion:

En face SD-OCT of the retinal surface is an interesting complement to standard retinal OCT section, which provides an easy to understand global overview of the retinal surface. It can detect and classify tiny progressive morphological changes in the texture of the retinal surface occurring after ILM peeling.