Dr. Frank Venzara’s Florida Retina Specialists Expands Into Central Florida Retina Rockledge Location
By Space Coast Daily // March 5, 2017
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The eye, that most miraculous of organs, is the window to our world. In this window, the light sensitive layer of tissue of the eye known as the retina is the curtain that is normally open to unveil the visual wonders of the universe.
When that wonderful curtain is drawn because of disease, vision is impaired.
Fortunately, help for issues of the retina is easily accessed in Brevard thanks to specialists such as Dr. Frank Venzara III of Florida Retina Specialists.
Venzara will expand his practice by the end of February to include an additional office at 1978 Rockledge Boulevard, in the location formerly occupied by Orlando-based Central Florida Retina.
“They contacted me looking for a doctor who would be available all days of the week to take care of their Brevard patients,” said Venzara.
“With our deep roots in Central Brevard, our medical and surgical successes and patient satisfaction, they looked to us to provide continued quality care for their patients.”
The new Rockledge facility joins Venzara’s clinics in Merritt Island and Sebastian.
“It allows us to provide greater convenience and access to care for our patients,” said Venzara.
Venzara is proud of Florida Retina Specialists’ resources to help patients.
“We focus on all aspects of the retina,” he said.
“In addition to comprehensive ophthalmology training, I spent an additional two years of surgical retina training to specifically focus and manage diseases of the retina.”
VASTLY IMPROVED OUTCOMES
The practice treats diseases such as macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease, retinal detachment, macular holes and membranes, eye trauma, cataracts, intraocular lens complications and floaters.
Floaters, those highly annoying pieces of vitreous debris, affect a large number of the population. In many cases, floaters improve on their own without need for interventions.
However, in instances when floaters become so dense they affect visual acuity or there is hemorrhaging within the vitreous gel of the eyes, Venzara offers vitrectomy, outpatient, suture-less surgery that is completed in just 20 minutes.
“Years ago, with older technology, large incision sites and poor fluidics of the vitrectomy unit, it was considered too invasive and risky to remove vitreous debris,” explained Venzara.
“This has changed greatly in the past five to eight years, with the advancement of surgical equipment and technology.”
The vastly improved outcomes due to new technology go well beyond just floaters.
“The recent advancement in surgical equipment has resulted in improved surgical time, outcomes and safety for all retina surgeries, especially retinal detachments,” said Venzara.
“Over the past decade, intraocular eye injections for macular degeneration and severe diabetic retinopathy have greatly improved the vision and quality of life of patients.
Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors such as Avastin, Eylea and Lucentis can greatly diminish and in some cases completely stop bleeding and hemorrhaging of the retina.”
CUTTING-EDGE DIAGNOSTIC TECHNOLOGY
The above medications work very well, although patients frequently need repetitive treatments every one or two months, but that may soon change, as current research is working to increase the length of effectiveness of these medications so treatments won’t be needed as frequently in the future.
“Just in the past three years, two long acting intraocular steroid treatments have been approved by the FDA for diabetic bleeding and swelling of the retina,” added Venzara.
“These long-acting medications last three months to three years. The hope is that in the near future we will have a similar sustained released long-acting medication for macular degeneration, alleviating the need for continual monthly treatments.”
For accurate assessment of any diseases of the retina Venzara’s Florida Retina Specialists offers cutting-edge diagnostic technology, including the Heidelberg Spectralis OCT retinal imaging system and Iridex laser system with micropulse technology.
Venzara continues the healing tradition of his father, Dr. Frank X. Venzara II, a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon who has served the community since the 1980s.
The younger Venzara, a native of Merritt Island, received a degree in biomedical engineering, as well as his medical degree, from the University of Miami. He was a researcher at the prestigious Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, where he published articles in peer reviewed journals and presented at multiple national meetings.
Venzara completed a four-year internship and ophthalmology residency training program as Texas A&M Scott & White Eye Institute, where he served as chief resident, before joining the Retina Consultants of Alabama fellowship program at UAB Callahan Eye Hospital, where he performed more than 1,100 retina surgeries, more than two and a half times the national average for retina fellows.
Venzara is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and is a member of the American Society of Retina Specialists, American Academy of Ophthalmology, Florida Society of Ophthalmology and the Christian Ophthalmology Society.
He has gladly volunteered his expertise to numerous medical missions to Nicaragua, Haiti and Mexico, focusing on training surgical residents on retina procedures, as well as on direct service to patients.
“Patients walk for hours and hours and hours to see a visiting doctor,” he said. “They’re so, so appreciative.”
Married for 13 years to his high school sweetheart, Venzara and his wife, Juliet, have three sons, ages eight, six and three. The Venzara boys now have a little sister, born nine months ago.
For the physician, there is no better prescription for happiness than spending time with his family.
“I enjoy camping with my sons, fishing, surfing, coaching soccer and wake surfing,” he said.
Being again part of the Merritt Island community where he grew up is a winning situation for this devoted family man.
“I am proud to return to Merritt Island where both our parents live,” said Venzara. “It is a blessing to have the support and love of grandparents so close by.”
Florida Retina Specialists are located at 280 North Sykes Creek Parkway, Suite B, Merritt Island; 14410 U.S. 1, Sebastian; and 1978 Rockledge Boulevard in Rockledge.
For more information, visit FloridaRetinaSpecialists.com or call 321-735-8800.