Macular translocation involves moving the macula so that the fovea lies over a healthier part of the choroid layer beneath it. This may involve making a cut around the whole periphery of the retina and rotating the retina (macular translocation with 360° retinotomy). Another approach is to make a shorter cut in the retina and fold the outer layers of the eye (scleral imbrication) so that the underlying choroid is moved slightly relative to the macula.
The surgery is not recommended for every macular degeneration patient. It is best performed on people in the early stage of the disease. A patient may benefit from macular translocation surgery if he or she has central vision loss in one eye and the second eye has recent vision loss. It is to treat the wet form of macular degeneration in which leaking blood vessels have formed beneath the retina.
There have been only a small number of surgeries performed worldwide. Various results have been reported, from achieving a return to 20/20 vision to no improvement. After the surgery, the disease can progress even if there is an initial success, There are also some risks of this surgery such as retinal detachment, bleeding and double vision.