Florida Retina Specialists Set for Expansion at Viera Medical Park, Groundbreaking Set Sept. 25
By Space Coast Daily // September 25, 2020
marks the third location for the practice, which currently operates in Merritt Island and Rockledge
New Viera office for Florida Retina Specialists will offer 5,000-square-feet for the practice itself, plus an additional 5,000 feet for two other medical suites
BREVARD COUNTY • VIERA, FLORIDA – Drivers zipping along Wickham Road and Stadium Parkway in Viera will soon witness an elegant – and large – Mediterranean-style building taking shape at Viera Medical Park across from Viera Hospital.
This new structure is a place with vision and for vision, literally, for the facility will serve as the new Viera home of Florida Retina Specialists, a highly specialized practice that focuses on the light-sensitive layer of tissue known as the retina, the eye’s “curtain” that unveils the world to all of us.
The new Viera office for Florida Retina Specialists will offer 5,000-square-feet for the practice itself, plus an additional 5,000 feet for two other medical suites.
It marks the third location for the practice, which currently operates in Merritt Island and Rockledge.
“Many of our patients and many of our referring doctors are from the Viera area, so we wanted to make it as convenient as possible for them by having a presence in Viera,” said practice administrator Juliet Venzara, wife of Dr. Frank Venzara III, who launched Florida Retina Specialists in 2014.
Selecting Viera as the site for expansion was a no-brainer for Dr. Venzara.
“We decided to build offices in the Viera Medical Park because it is across the street from the Viera Hospital and provides an ideal location for ophthalmology services to the growing population of Viera,” said Dr. Venzara.
“We want to be easily accessible to our patients and referring doctors.”
Merritt Island-born and bred, Dr. 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 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.
He completed a four-year internship and ophthalmology residency training program as Texas A&M Scott & White Eye Institute, where he served as chief residency, before joining the Retina Consultants of Alabama fellowship program at UAB Callahan Eye Hospital.
In addition to comprehensive ophthalmology training, he spent an additional two years of surgical retina training to specifically focus and manage diseases of the retina. At Retina Consultants, Dr. Venzara performed move than 1,100 retina surgeries, more than two and a half times the national average for retina fellows.
Dr. 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 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.
Dr. Venzara plans to recruit additional similarly highly-trained specialists to staff the new Viera office, anticipated to open in the summer of 2021.
The facility will provide a full spectrum of services to heal the eye from diseases and disorders such as macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease, retinal detachment, macular holes and membranes, eye trauma, cataracts, intraocular lens complications and floaters.
While the office offers comprehensive ophthalmic services, treatment of retinal issues remains paramount.
“We focus on all aspects of the retina,” said Dr. Venzara.
“The recent advancement in surgical equipment has resulted in improved surgical time, outcomes and safety for all retina surgeries, especially retinal detachments.
Retinal problems can affect anyone at any age.
“Our surgeons have performed retinal detachment surgery on patients as young as 23,” said Juliet Venzara.
For accurate assessment of any diseases of the retina, Florida Retina Specialists offers cutting-edge diagnostic technology, including the Heidelberg Spectralis OCT retinal imaging system and Iridex laser system with micropulse technology.
Intraocular eye injections for macular degeneration and severe diabetic retinopathy are also an important service provided by the practice. These injections have greatly improved the vision and quality of life of many patients.
“Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors such as Avastin, Eylea and Lucentis, and most recently Beovu, can greatly diminish and some cases completely stop bleeding and hemorrhaging of the retina,” said Dr. Venzara.
These medications work very well, and although patients frequently need repetitive treatments every one or two months, 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 few years, two long acting intraocular steroid treatments have been approved by the FDA for diabetic bleeding and swelling of the retina,” added Dr. 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.”
Floaters, known as the opacities in the posterior vitreous of the eye, also afflict both young and old. In many cases, floaters improve on their own without need for intervention.
However, in instances when floaters become so dense that they affect visual acuity, or there is hemorrhaging within the vitreous gel of the eyes, Dr. Venzara offers vitrectomy, an outpatient suture-less surgery that takes 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 Dr. Venzara.
“This has changed greatly in the past five to eight years, with the advancement of sutureless surgical equipment and technology.”
The many, many positive patient testimonials for the care found at Florida Retina Associates paint a picture of a practice dedicated to helping Brevard retain that most precious of gifts, sight.
When Florida Retina Specialists open its third location next year, Viera residents will be able to access that superb level of care right in their own backyard.
For more information, call 321-735-8800 or visit FloridaRetinaSpecialists.com