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What is a Vitrectomy?

Pars Plana Vitrectomy is performed in patients with retinal or vitreal disorders. Vitreous is a gel-like substance made of protein and water. And the Retina is a light sensing tissue that is behind the vitreous in the back of the eye.

In this procedure, the vitreous is removed and replaced with saltwater solution. Removing any evident blood, foreign body, infectious, or inflammatory debris. At the same time, the retina can also be repaired if concomitant diseases or issues exist that cause the retina to wrinkle, tear or detach.

What is a Vitrectomy?

When is Vitrectomy surgery recommended?

Pars Plana Vitrectomy maybe recommended if any of the following eye problems exist, including:

  • Diabetic retinopathy (with bleeding or scar tissue)
  • Vitreous hemorrhage
  • Retinal detachment
  • Macular wrinkle (Epiretinal membrane)
  • Macular hole
  • Infection in the eye (Endophthalmitis)
  • Intraocular foreign body
  • Cataract pieces retrieval following complicated cataract surgery

What to expect with Vitrectomy surgery?

Depending on the reason for surgery and what else is being done, a vitrectomy surgery can vary anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.

The surgery is generally performed as local anesthesia but sometimes as general anesthesia. Our anesthesiologists are present during the entirety of your case and sit long side you in case you ever are uncomfortable or supplemental anesthesia is required.

Our surgeon will make three tiny incisions in the white part of the eye (the sclera) creating microscopic openings for the various instruments that will be inserted to perform Vitrectomy.

After the case is performed, the instruments are removed, the incisions are small enough where they self-seal, and antibiotic medications are injected around the incision sites. Steroid eye drops and antibiotic eye drops are given to help reduce inflammation and prevent infections.

What are the risks of Vitrectomy surgery?

As with any eye surgery many different types of risks exist with Pars Plana Vitrectomy, including:

  • Inflammation
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Retinal Detachment
  • High intraocular pressure
  • Cataract Development
  • Lens Dislocation

What is Vitrectomy Recovery like?

Following vitrectomy surgery expect you vision to be blurry with gradual and slow recovery. It may take anywhere from a couple of days to over a month for your vision to clear, depending on what else was done and if a gas bubble was placed in the eye. If you do have a gas bubble, we typically examine you every two to three weeks until the bubble is gone, to ensure that the retina stays attached as the bubble dissolves.

During this time, we recommend you not fly or travel at high altitudes until our doctors advise it is okay to do so. Rapid increase in altitude can cause the bubble to expand and the pressure in the eye to rise, potentially leading to blindness.

In addition, it is also recommended heavy lifting and bending over is limited.

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