Nearly 2/3 of the eye is made of a clear gel-like substance that fills the center of the eye. When problems arise and affect the back of the eye a vitrectomy, a removal of the vitreous. After this is done the vitreous builds back up as the eye secretes aqueous and nutritive fluids.
This procedure may also be done to clear blood and other debris from the eye. It can be used to remove scar tissue.
Anything that has collected in the vitreous can obscure light as it passes through the eye on its way to the retina and result in blurred vision.
What Conditions Can Vitrectomy Surgery Correct?
Some other common conditions that may need a vitrectomy are:
- Problems related to an earlier surgery
- Injury or infection
- Pre-retinal membrane fibrosis
- Hemorrhaging in the eye
- Retinal detachment
- Macular hole
- Complications from diabetic retinopathy
A microscope is used for the procedure with a special lens that gives the surgeon give a clear image of the back of the eye. Tiny surgical instruments are placed in several tiny incisions to light up the inside the eye, keep the eyes shape during surgery and microsurgical instruments to cut and remove the vitreous liquid.
This procedure may also be used with retinal detachment repair, macular hole surgery, and macular membrane peel. The length of vitrectomy surgery depends on what procedures are being done with the vitrectomy.
Special treatments may also be performed during a vitrectomy procedure. Tiny blood vessels may be sealed off with a laser beam because of bleeding. Gas bubbles may be used to help heal a macular hole and silicone oil may be used to keep the retina in the correct position.
A patient can expect to have a patch covering the eye that was worked on until the eye is able to blink normally. Once the patch is removed, eye drops must be used. If the area swells, ice compresses can be placed on the area. Take Tylenol for aching and soreness.
A good eye compress is a bag of frozen vegetables. They conform easily to the shape they are placed on and can be used more than once. If you have soreness and pain that cannot be relieved by Tylenol or other over-the-counter pain reliever, you need to contact your surgeon. It is common to experience redness in and around the affected eye and a look of bruising near the corner of the eye.
After the surgery you will need to use antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops immediately after you take the patch off. You will also need to wear a plastic eye shield when sleeping for seven days after surgery.
Once you have had the procedure, you will not be able to lift over five pounds and you must avoid bending and stooping. You will need to apply ice compresses and ask the doctor if there are any precautions of where you place your head during recovery.
Recovery from this procedure will vary from patient to patient and will depend on what is done during the surgery. As with all surgeries there is always a risk involved. Please ask your doctor any questions or concerns that you have before the surgery.