Uveal tract is the vascular middle coat of the eye ball. Inflammation of the uveal tract is called uveitis. Uveitis, usually occurs if there is associated systemic disease in the patient either an autoimmune disease or an infectious disease, hence the specialists at the Uveitis department treat their patients in close coordination with other specialists in medicine such as rheumatologists, chest physicians, infectious disease specialists, internists etc. The department is headed by Dr. Jyotirmay Biswas, a pioneer in this field who is ably assisted by 8 consultants well trained in this specialty
Medical management of patients with uveitis involves continuous monitoring/control of their ocular inflammation which may require systemic treatment with drugs such as steroids and immuno-suppressives. It also needs close monitoring of the systemic disease in conjunction with the concerned specialists. Management of uveitis in patients with complicated cataract and performing specialized cataract removal surgery on them is an exclusive specialityof this department. Patients suffering from uveitis with glaucoma, uveitis with vitreoretinal complications are handled in close coordination with consultants from the respective fields. Such specialized and compassionate care of patients with this chronic disease is dispensed by the following faculty; the uveitis department at SankaraNethralaya is probably the largest and the most experienced department of its kind in Asia
Sankara Nethralaya’s uveitis department is well supported by a state of the art laboratory, pathology, microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics departments. The institute also has facilities for ancillary tests like wide-field fluorescein angiography, ultrasonography, ultrasound biomicroscopy and spectral domain and swept source optical coherence tomography.Apart from patients with uveitis, the department also takes care of patients with scleritis, retinal vasculitis and patients with HIV/AIDS.
The Uveitis department examines an average of 3000 cases per year of which more than 1000 are new cases. It is noteworthy to mention that SankaraNethralaya’s uveitis department is the primary referral center for uveitis patients in India and neighboring countries. This department is actively involved in research and is credited withthe largest number of peer reviewed publications in SankaraNethralaya. It has so far published more than 250 articles in National and International peer reviewed ophthalmic Journals.
Specialists in the department have been a key part of many renowned multicenter drug trials. They have authored in-depth and authoritative works on the subject and co-authored chapters related to uveitis and Ocular Pathology in books of ophthalmology authored by others.
The Department has done pioneering research work in the field of ocular complications due to AIDS and has authored more than 20 articles in peer reviewed journals on ocular lesions in patients with HIV/AIDS including a comprehensive book on "Ocular Lesions in AIDS - Practical guidelines in diagnosis and management".
The Department has authored a prestigious work - “Sankara Nethralaya Atlas of Uveitis & scleritis” – which has been a resounding success and is the most sought after atlas by both postgraduates and practicing ophthalmologists.
The department has published two books on patient education in easy to understand language with simple illustrations. The department has also prepared many handouts and patient education monographs for better understanding of these diseases