The hypophyseal stalk section, an operation to retard the advance of diabetic retinopathy, has been successful in 12 of 13 cases, according to Dr. Richard A. Field of Massachusetts General Hospital. The operation evolved out of the belief that a decline in pituitary function would slow or stop the advance of retinopathy, a leading cause of non-traumatic blindness.
In 1962, Field reported that 12 patients who had had the stalk section had showed a marked retardation of their retinopathy.
Improvements included clearing of vitreous haze; ending of hemorrhagic activity; loosening and reabsorption of collections of blood in preretinal spaces or vitreous; condensation and attenuation with increased translucency of proliferative glial tissue; a decrease toward normal of overengorged veins; apparent disappearance of fronds and retes of fine neovessels; disappearance of rubeosis iridis in one case, and migration of exudates outwards from the macular region.
The stalk section was done by a