New Treatment for Macular holes

Recent approval of Jetrea (Ocriplasmin) to treat symptomatic VMA (Vitreo Macular Adhesion) has opened up a new era in non surgical management of macular holes. Previously only a hospital based surgery was able to reverse the process of macular hole development but now a new drug can be injected into the eye painlessly in the office and within a few weeks the process reverses back to more normal vision levels....  more

FDA Approves ASRS Leader's ArgusŪ II Artificial Retina

On February 14, the FDA approved the Argus II artificial retina developed by ASRS Executive Committee and Board Member Mark S. Humayun, MD, PhD.

This breakthrough technology is the first ever to offer limited vision to patients with late-stage retinitis pigmentosa (RP).

 Second Sight Medical Products (Sylmar, CA) manufactures the Argus II implant, which has 60 electrodes and a tiny camera mounted on eyeglasses to capture images.

 The FDA approved Argus II for adults age 25 years or older with severe to profound RP. About 10,000 to 15,000 of the 100,000 Americans with RP will qualify for Argus II. Up to 4,000 patients a year can be treated with the device.

...  more

Macular degeneration and Aspirin?

Aspirin and Macular degeneration... is there an increase in the wet form of macular degeneration in those patients taking aspirin? The wet form develops quicker than the dry form. It may only be related to the fact that you are more likely to take aspirin if you have medical problems like stroke or heart attacks in the past and these conditions are more commonly associated with wet age related macular degeneration. ...  more

Services & Treatments


Our physicians at East Carolina Retina Consultants are on the leading edge of technology in retinal medicine, affording each and every patient access to a full spectrum of modern care from initial diagnosis with state-of-the-art imaging capabilities through disease management and in the prompt treatment of emergent conditions. 


A pioneer in the world of medical imaging and ophthalmology, Dr. Van Houten successfully engineered, tested, and marketed his very own diagnostic imaging hardware and accompanying software during the mid-1990s.   Today, our practice utilizes his state-of-the-art system along with additional advanced imaging applications to effectively diagnose back-of-the-eye concerns and complications, often in the earliest stages of development. 


Once a diagnosis is researched and confirmed, each patient is approached and counseled as a person, not a disease, as our caring physicians explore all available treatments with you and provide all the information you and your family will need to make an informed decision about your future care. If surgery is required, many procedures can be performed outpatient in a day with local or general anesthesia.  Should your treatment plan involve additional follow-up or further courses of action, our physicians and staffs are more than willing to help you through the process on the road to recovery.


Dr. Van Houten is resolute in his belief that in many cases, loss of sight is both preventable and highly treatable if detected early enough.  In exploring treatment options, he will advocate heavily for every patient, recommending modern procedures that allow for short-term recovery and the best prognosis.


Explore the links below to read more about the services and treatments offered at our practice.  Please note that these explanations are general in nature and are in no way meant to resemble a diagnosis from a licensed physician.  If you believe you could benefit from a consultation regarding treatment of retinal and back of the eye concerns, please ask your primary physician, optometrist or ophthalmologist to contact us to schedule an appointment.


Panretinal Photocoagulation Laser Treatments (PRP)

Panretinal Photocoagulation Laser Treatments are used to decrease the growth of abnormal vessels on the retina that result from conditions like diabetic retinopathy and retinal vein occlusion.  Performed outpatient, with local anesthesia, these laser treatments can help effectively reduce severe vision loss due to proliferative diabetic retinopathy by 60%. Read More

Diagnostic Imaging

At East Carolina Retina Consultants, advanced diagnostic imaging techniques are at the forefront of all treatment processes.  Dr. Van Houten strongly believes that the most effective method for preventing initial or further retinal damage is to have a clear picture of existing conditions or symptoms.  State-of-the-art imaging capabilities provided by advanced Heidelberg systems, and even Dr. Van Houten’s own engineered diagnostic system afford unprecedented back of the eye views. Read More


Focal Laser Treatment

Focal Laser treatments are useful in preventing further damage in a variety of retinal diseases, including macular degeneration, macular edema or retinal tears. Focal Laser treatments are primarily used to stop the leakage of damaged vessels or seal tears in the retina avoiding or repairing retinal detachements. Read More



Cryotherapy is used in many medical applications, and literally involves the treatment of conditions with the therapeutic use of cold.  In an ophthalmologic setting, cryotherapy is administered to help repair retina holes and tears or act like PRP Laser. Often, cryotherapy is performed in conjunction with other treatments to achieve the best possible results for the patient. Read More

Glaucoma Shunt

When an imbalance in the eye causes excess fluid to no longer drain properly, pressure can build up and cause several forms of glaucoma. A Glaucoma Shunt is implanted under the eyelid to help drain off excess fluid and prevent further vision loss from glaucoma. Read More

Pneumatic Retinopexy

Retinal detachments and tears are cause for an immediate procedure to prevent further loss of vision.  Pneumatic Retinopexy has proven very effective to treat rhegmatogenous retinal detachments, the most common and straightforward type of detachment. Done in-office at East Carolina Retina, pneumatic retinopexy procedures allow the patient to avoid major hospital surgery. Read More

Vitrectomy Procedures

Vitrectomy procedures have been used in retinal care for more than three decades, constantly being revised for better patient outcomes and experiences.  A vitrectomy, when successful can effectively prevent further vision loss from a retinal detachment. Read More

Scleral Buckling

Up until vitrectomy procedures were developed, scleral buckling was one of the only treatments for retinal detachments.  Today, it is still widely used for rhegmatogeous retinal detachments, and occasionally in conjunction with vitrectomy. Read More


Case Studies

Dr. Van Houten remains committed to increasing his knowledge in the areas of ophthalmology and vitreo-retinal care.  Periodically, he conducts studies to test outcomes, sharing the results of his findings in writing upon completion. Read More