A day in the life of a retinal specialist… Costantino John Trombetta

A day in the life of a retinal specialist

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Where I work

Allow me to introduce myself; my name is Costantino John Trombetta and I am a medical and surgical vitreoretinal consultant based in the Ophthalmology department at the University of Messina.

Messina is a medium-sized city with approximately 250,000 inhabitants. Geographically, it is situated at the North-East tip of Sicily, just in front of the coasts of Calabria - the southernmost point of the Italian peninsula. A stretch of just three nautical miles, which is served by a very intense traffic of ferries, separates the two coasts. The two sides of the coast can in fact be considered as part of one single geographical region: the area of the straits of Messina, which in total contains more than half a million inhabitants. The economic status is very different on both sides, with the Sicilian part being wealthier. Messina has a long-standing tradition in ophthalmic care and, as such, our department attracts large numbers of patients from all over Sicily and nearby Calabria.

Organising the clinic

One consultant (me), one clinical assistant, three part-time young ophthalmologists, two residents, and one nurse represent our total staff.

Our working day is approximately six hours, starting at 8.00 am and, once clinic has ended, I commence my private practice, which begins at 3.00 pm.

The clinic is divided into three large rooms, with a waiting room, and is in close proximity to the operating theatre.

In terms of our imaging and diagnostics equipment, we currently use a Heidelberg HRA angiograph (Heidelberg Engineering) and a Stratus OCT 3 (Carl Zeiss Meditec). Meanwhile, for treatments we use a Zeiss Visulas thermal laser and a Zeiss infrared laser for photodynamic therapy (PDT) (Carl Zeiss Meditec). The operating theatre is equipped for all aspects of ophthalmic surgery, and we use a small surgical sterile room to administer intravitreal injections.

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