Vitreoretinal-Surgery-5-640x240 (1)

Vitreoretinal surgery includes a group of advanced and delicate procedures done deep inside the eye to improve vision of the eye. This procedure is done in the eye’s interior where the vitreous and retina are located.

Vitreoretinal surgery is performed to enhance, and restore vision caused by a wide range of eye conditions. Here are some of the eye conditions which are treated by Vitreoretinal surgery.

  1. Diabetic retinopathy – Diabetes leads to damaged blood vessels in the retina in this condition.
  2. Age-related macular degeneration – In this condition, the central portion of the retina, the macula tears down that affects the vision.
  3. Detached retinas – In this condition, the retina is separated from the back of the eye.
  4. Macular hole – In this, a small gap break in at the very center of the macula.

Vitreoretinal surgery includes-

Vitrectomy – Vitrectomy is a type of eye operation for removing vitreous humor, a gel-like substance from the eye. This jelly-like fluid is replaced with a saline solution. This gel-like substance can be some of the common foreign matter like blood from diabetic hemorrhage.

These types of surgeries are performed by ophthalmologists who are specialists in treating vitreoretinal disorders.

A vitreoretinal specialist performs surgical procedures and a general ophthalmologist handles the procedures involving lasers.

  1. Anterior vitrectomy – It includes removing the portions of vitreous humor from the eye’s front structures.
  2. Pars Plana vitrectomy – This procedure helps to remove all or some vitreous humor from the deeper part of the eye.

Why you need vitrectomy –

For us to be able to see, the light has to pass through the eye to reach the retina. The retina is a layer of cells at the back of the eye that senses the light and sends this visual information to the brain. However certain problems block the light to reach the retina properly which can cause vision problems. These diseases cause fluid, blood, or debris in the vitreous that interrupts the light reaching the retina which causes vision problems.

This vision problem can be fixed by removing the fluid from the vitreous and replacing it.

During the process of vitrectomy, an ophthalmologist will cut the vitreous and remove it to help the retina decreases the tension around it.

Some other problems that can be treated with a vitrectomy –

Infections inside the eye

Serious eye injuries

Damaged blood vessels in the retina

Macular pucker

How to prepare yourself before vitrectomy

You can ask specific things from your ophthalmologist before preparing for the vitrectomy surgery-

  1. What things should I need to avoid before the surgery
  2. Should I need to avoid any medicines before the surgery?
  3. Anesthesia options.
  4. About what time surgery is expected.

You may also need to dilate your eyes for an eye exam. For viewing the retina more closely your eyes may also need an ultrasound. The ophthalmologist will also use special lights and tools to examine the eyes before the surgery.

During Vitrectomy surgery

A specialist eye doctor also known as an ophthalmologist will perform the surgery. Vitrectomy can take one to several hours, depending on the procedures and condition. You can expect these things during the surgery-

  1. You may receive some medicines during the surgery for relaxation like numbing drops; injections to make your eyes don’t feel anything. You can also have the option to stay awake during the surgery. General anesthesia can be used to put you to sleep during the surgery.
  2. Your doctor will make the incision cut in the outer layer of the eye after exposing the eye.
  3. Then your doctor will cut through the white part of the eye, known as the sclera.
  4. Then the vitreous tissue or other foreign material is removed with a microscopic cutting tool. At this time eye is kept filling with eye fluid. Any other debris or scar tissue is also removed at that time.
  5. In the next step, other procedures that are needed for the eye are also implemented. These procedures include injecting a gas bubble or using a laser to fix the retina.
  6. Then the eyes will be filled with saline, silicone oil, or any other fluid to vitreous.
  7. Your surgical incision is closed with stitches to close up the cuts in the eye. For most people stitches are unnecessary.
  8. The doctor will put an antibiotic ointment on your eye to prevent any infection.

What to expect after the surgery-

After the surgery, you have to follow the doctor’s instructions about eye care. He will recommend eye drops with antibiotics to help prevent any type of infection. In case your eyes feel a little sore, over the counter pain relievers can help. You may also need to cover your eyes with a patch.

After the procedure, you will also need a follow-up meeting with the doctor to check the effectiveness of the treatment. You have to explain to the doctor that you have an increasing vision or a decreasing vision. During the vitrectomy, if a gas bubble is placed in your eye, you have to follow certain instructions about positioning. You may need additional surgery in case silicon oil is injected into the eye during the surgery.

Vitreoretinal surgeries
have greater chances of success rates. Eyesight is improved or restored in many cases. You can have good vision in just a few weeks.