Problems with the retina and vitreous can lead to vision loss and blindness. Surgery can correct problems before vision is lost or prevent further deterioration from occurring.
The vitreous is the clear, gel-like substance that makes up the center of the eye, accounting for approximately two-thirds of the eye's volume, giving it its shape. Because of its large, soft consistency, the vitreous is commonly affected by various diseases that may cause it to cloud, fill with blood or harden, making it difficult for light to properly reach the retina. This may lead to blurred vision, tears or other serious conditions.
Patients with disease or injury to the vitreous may benefit from a vitrectomy. This procedure removes the vitreous by suctioning it out with tiny instruments that are inserted into the eye. After removal, your doctor may treat the retina with a laser, cut or remove scar tissue, flatten detached areas of the retina, or repair holes or tears in the retina. Patients may experience mild discomfort and redness for several days after this procedure, and often have their eye patched for the first day.
Although results vary depending on the individual condition treated, most patients experience improved visual acuity after this procedure. Vitrectomy is most effective in treating conditions such as macular hole, retinal detachment, diabetic retinopathy, vitreous hemorrhage or an injury or infection in the vitreous.
Although this procedure is considered safe, there are certain risks associated with any surgical procedure. Some of these risks include retinal detachment, fluid buildup, growth of new blood vessels, infection and further bleeding into the vitreous gel. Patients can minimize these risks by choosing an experienced doctor to perform their procedure.