School of Medicine

Department of Ophthalmology



The Louisiana State University Health Science Center Vitreoretinal Fellowship is the only University-based fellowship in the state of Louisiana. We serve as tertiary referral care center for the community. Fellows gain extensive clinical and surgical experience to a large volume, diversity, and degree of vitreoretinal pathology.

Clinical Experience:

Our five retina faculty members bring a variety of approaches to the treatment of medical and surgical retinal disease. Each training location provides a unique experience; fellows are exposed to private and academic practice models.  Patient population include both insured and uninsured with a diversity of vitreo retinal pathology of varied severity. Our fellows are exposed to the latest in medical and surgical ophthalmic diagnostic and therapeutic methods. Fellows have a high degree of autonomy in many clinics though retina faculty are always on site for discussion and consultation. Fellows also participate in resident education by assisting residents in examining patients and developing treatment plans.

Surgical Experience:

Fellows actively participate in a wide array of surgical cases such as macular holes, rhegmatogenous retinal detachments, advanced diabetic tractional retinal detachments, intraocular foreign body (IOFB) removal, trauma cases, and sutured intraocular lens (IOL) cases using varied techniques.  Our fellows operate in both hospital settings as well as ambulatory surgery centers using  23-,25-, and 27-gauge vitrectomy sets, and Zeiss® RESIGHT visualization systems.  Our most recent graduate completed over 400 surgical cases as the primary surgeon.  Instruction in radioactive plaque placement for ocular melanoma is provided by our oculoplastics subspecialist. 


Our fellows have full access to the resident wet lab as well as the retina modules on the EyeSi surgical simulator. Fellows actively participate in weekly Department grand rounds, IVFA conferences and journal clubs.

Teaching Philosophy

The faculty are unified in our commitment to develop each retinal fellow's gifts from the first day of fellowship and help them evolve into self-assured learner. The faculty work effectively as one unit, and as a team our goal is to help each fellow develop professionally and become a highly competent clinician and surgeon.


We are excited to meet new candidates and look forward to answering your questions. Please feel free to reach out to our Program Coordinator, Joshua Butrick, at or myself at with any questions you might have.


Aravinda Rao, MD

Fellowship Program Director

Vitreo-Retinal Service

Dominick D and Wilhelmina L Aiena Professor in Ophthalmology

Associate Professor of Ophthalmology

Department of Ophthalmology

Louisiana State University, New Orleans