What is Vitrectomy?

A vitrectomy is a type of eye surgery that removes the vitreous, a gel-like substance that fills the inside of the eye. The vitreous is replaced with a saline solution, a gas bubble, or silicone oil. This surgery is used to treat a variety of eye problems, including:

  • Retinal detachment: This is a serious condition in which the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye, pulls away from the choroid, the layer of blood vessels that nourishes it.
  • Macular hole: This is a small hole in the macula, the central part of the retina. It can cause blurred vision and central vision loss.
  • Diabetic retinopathy: This is a complication of diabetes that can damage the retina.
  • Retinal vascular occlusion: This is a blockage in a blood vessel in the retina.
  • Endophthalmitis: This is an infection inside the eye.
  • Foreign body in the eye: A vitrectomy may be used to remove a foreign object that has become embedded in the vitreous.

Vitrectomy is typically performed as an outpatient procedure. It takes about 30 to 60 minutes to complete. The patient will be given anesthesia to numb the eye and prevent pain. During surgery, the surgeon will make three small incisions in the white part of the eye. Through these incisions, the surgeon will insert tiny instruments to remove the vitreous and perform any necessary repairs.

After surgery, the patient may need to wear an eye patch or shield for a few days. Recovery time varies depending on the individual, but most people are able to return to their normal activities within a few weeks.

Vitrectomy is a safe and effective surgery, but like any surgery, there are risks. These risks include bleeding, infection, and retinal detachment. However, the risks are generally low, and the benefits of surgery often outweigh the risks.