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Vitrectomy is a type of eye surgery that is used to treat certain disorders of the retina and vitreous. Retina, is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. The vitreous is the clear jelly-like liquid that fills the inner portionof the eye. During this surgery, the vitreoushumoris removed and usually replaced with a BSS solution.

When is a Vitrectomy necessary for you?


An ophthalmologist may advise you take a vitrectomy for the treatment of the following disorders:

  • Diabetic retinopathy: If there is retinal detachment or bleeding
  • Retinal detachment
  • Intraocular Infection
  • Severe injury (vitreous hemorrhage)
  • Macular pucker
  • Macular hole
  • Certain problems related to previous cataract surgery

How does a vitrectomy improve your vision?

Vitrectomy often improvesor stabilized thevision. Bloodor debrisremaining from an infection or inflammation that may be blocking or blurring image as it focuses on the retina,are removed by surgery.

By vitrectomy,scarred tissue that may cause displacement, pucker or detachment in the retina, are removed. Vision can be weakened if the retina is not in its normal position.

By this method, foreign objects stuck inside the eyeafter a trauma can also be removed. If these objects are not removed, they often damage the vision.

What happens in a vitrectomy?

Before the surgery:

Your eye doctor will determine if the surgery can be done with local or general anesthesia. Vitrectomy may require an overnight hospital stay. Before surgery, to prevent from medical certain risks, some check-ups may be necessary.

During the surgery:

 The length of the surgery, depending on your condition, may vary from 1 to several hours. In some cases, an ophthalmologist might also do other surgical procedures at the same time, including repairingthe detached retina or removing the opaque lens (cataract).

Vitrectomy surgery is performed through an operating microscope. Small openings through the sclera (the white part of the eye)are made in order to insert vitrectomy instruments into the eye.

In order to achieve the best possible vision for you, your doctor will do one or more of the following:

  • Removing all or part of clouded vitreous
  • Removing the damaged tissue and attempting to return the retina to its original location
  • Removing foreign bodies that may be in the eye.
  • Applying Laser therapy to reduce the risk of future bleeding or seal off holes in the retina.
  • Filling the eye with air or gas to replace the vitreous gel and hold the retina in place. (The gas bubbles will disappear over a period of time)
  • Replacing the vitreous gel with silicone oil which usually needs removal with later surgery.

Sutureless Vitrectomy:In some cases, it is possible to use much more delicate instruments in surgery. By using these smaller instruments, there is no need to stitch the holes made to enter the eye, thusnot only the surgery is done in a shorter time but also there will be less postoperative pain and discomfort.

After the surgery:

It is normal to experience pain or discomfort after the operation. It is recommended to wear eye protectors-eye patches- for the first few days after surgery. Your doctor will give you instruction on how to take your eye drops or when to resume your daily activities.

It is very important to maintain the head position recommended by your doctor,since ignoring this issue may lead to treatment failure.

You are prohibited from flying or traveling to high altitudes until the gas bubble has been completely dissipated;the reduced atmospheric pressure in high altitudes may raise the pressure in the eye to dangerous levels.

If the silicone oil is used, it will be necessary to monitor the patient regularly and periodically,since it may cause certain complications over time and there may be a necessity to remove it as soon as possible.