RetinaLink Profile: Mrinali Gupta, MD ~ Surgical Impressions with 10k Vitrectomy Cutter & Why Retina ~ #ilooklikearetinasurgeon

RetinaLink is pleased to feature Mrinali Gupta, MD, Weill Cornell, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Director of Vitreoretinal Medical Fellowship, in New York, New York.

Dr. Gupta was on the faculty at ALCON ‘s Retina Exchange Broadcast Series on Tuesday, July 10, and she highlighted ALCON’s 10,000 cut per minute, cpm, vitrectomy probe in her 40-year-old male patient with diabetes mellitus and a Chronic Tractional Retinal Detachment. Pre-op VA: CF. This patient had a thin retina which was predisposed and prone to breaks. Dr. Gupta utilized the 25+-gauge 10,000 cpm between the membrane and the retina to segment the tissue. Most of the plaque was removed with the 10k cutter and used the cutter as an active pic and vertical scissors. VA Post-op: Dr. Gupta said, “The patient had been lost to follow up but he recently returned. He is 7 months post-op with 20/100 vision and remains attached.” Click > to see Dr. Gupta’s entire video.

In March, RetinaLink launched #ilooklikearetinasurgeon, Dr. Gupta shares her responses below on why she decided on retina, her mentors and what her challenges are professionally. See all her comments below.

Mrinali Gupta, MD

RetinaLink (RL): Why did you become a retina specialist?  
Mrinali Gupta, MD (MG): Every day, I walk to the office/hospital feeling incredibly excited about the work I’m going to do that day.  I love employing a combination of astute examination skills with imaging interpretation and technology advances to diagnosis and manage retinal disease. I love the balance of clinical and surgical care and that our management strategies are varied–spanning medications, injections, lasers, and surgery, along with systemic optimization. I love seeing patients of all ages and treating acute and emergent conditions, while also developing long-term relationships with patients as I manage their chronic retinal conditions throughout their lives. Most of all, I find that the impact we have on patients’ vision and, in turn, their quality of lives, so very gratifying.

RL: Who are your mentors?
MG: I have been fortunate to have incredible mentors throughout my training and career, each of whom from which I’ve gleaned something unique and special.  Dr. Paul Chan (UIC) has been an incredible mentor for my academic pursuits and an invaluable resource clinically. It was from watching his bedside manner with patients that I realized the type of doctor I wanted to be.  I’ve had the opportunity to learn from incredible surgeons, including Dr. Dean Eliott (Mass Eye and Ear), Dr. Donald J. D’Amico (Cornell), Dr. Philip Ferrone (Long Island Retina), and Dr. Michael Nissen (Cornell), and it is often their voices I hear in my head when I am operating and come across a challenging situation.  And finally, as a woman and mother, I’ve had the great fortune of having wonderful role models of women who successfully balance medicine and family life — Dr. Joan Miller (Harvard) and Dr. Nina Berrocal (Miami).  I recognize that just a decade or two ago, women in my position had few such role models, and I really appreciate being able to look ten or twenty years ahead and see women retina specialists who I can aspire to emulate.

RL: What do you find most challenging professionally?
MG: The most challenging thing professionally for me (and I imagine many of my colleagues at this stage of their career)  is trying to balance everything I want to do — clinically, surgically, academically, and personally with my family — within the constrains of a 24 hour day.  This involves constant evaluation and re-evaluation of my goals and careful prioritization….determining which aspects I want to be absolutely uncompromising in (patient care and the well-being of my son and family, for example) and which aspects I can accept slower productivity than I might aspire to in a vacuum, and then finding contentment in living within that framework.  Overall, I feel incredibly fortunate to have such a rich and varied professional life involving patient care, research, and teaching residents & fellows.

Dr. Mrinali Gupta can be reached via e-mail at

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