Vitrectomy: What you need to know


A vitrectomy is a surgical procedure that treats problems with the retina, the innermost layer of the eye. The retina is a sensitive sheet of tissue that lines the inside of your eye and sends visual signals to your brain. During a vitrectomy, your surgeon removes some or all the clear gel that fills the center of your eye.

Vitrectomy can be used to treat several serious eye conditions, including:

• Retinal detachment happens when the retina disconnects from the back wall of your eye. Retinal detachments can cause blindness if not treated promptly.

• Diabetic retinopathy appears when high blood sugar levels damage small vessels in the retina, causing them to leak blood and swell. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of blindness in adults.

Sometimes, the surgeon will perform a vitrectomy with another surgery, such as cataract surgery. The surgery, performed under local anesthesia to numb the area around your eye, takes about one to two hours.

During a vitrectomy, your surgeon makes a small incision in the white of your eye and inserts tiny instruments into your eye. Depending on your condition, the surgeon replaces the removed vitreous with either a sterile saline solution or a gas bubble.

After the surgery, it will take several weeks for your eye to heal completely. During this time, you will need to avoid strenuous activity and wear an eye patch or shield to protect your eye. You may need artificial tears to help your eye heal, with special precautions not to bump or rub your eye. Your retinal surgeon will give you specific instructions on what you need to do after surgery.

Most people recover quickly from vitrectomy surgery with few risks or complications. However, there is always a small risk of developing problems such as bleeding or infection. If you experience any unusual symptoms after surgery, contact your doctor immediately.

Windy City Retina is the Chicago area’s leading retina specialist, passionate about helping patients improve and preserve their vision. If you have been diagnosed with a retinal condition, schedule a consultation today at 815-714-9115.

Windy City Retina – Ankit Desai, MD

15905 S Frederick St
Suite 105
Plainfield, IL 60586