What is Deep VITRECTOMY?
Vitrectomy is a type of eye surgery used to treat certain disorders of the retina and vitreous. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye, and the vitreous is a clear, gel-like substance that fills the middle portion of the eye. During this surgery, the vitreous is removed and typically replaced with a BSS (balanced salt solution) solution.
When is vitrectomy needed?
Your ophthalmologist may recommend vitrectomy to treat the following disorders:
How does vitrectomy improve vision?
Vitrectomy surgery often improves or stabilizes vision. Blood or remnants due to infection or inflammation that may block or distort the image focused on the retina are removed through surgery. Damaged tissue that might displace, wrinkle, or contract the retina is also removed with vitrectomy. If the retina is not in its original position, vision is usually impaired. This method can also be used to remove foreign bodies that have entered the eye as a result of an injury. If these foreign bodies are not removed, vision is often compromised.
What happens during a vitrectomy surgery?
Before the surgery
Your ophthalmologist will decide on the preferred anesthesia method, either local or general. You may stay in the hospital for one night. Before the surgery, a clinical examination may be required to inform the doctor about any specific medical risks.
The duration of the surgery varies depending on your specific condition and can range from one to several hours. In some cases, the ophthalmologist may perform additional procedures simultaneously, such as repairing retinal detachment or removing a cloudy lens (cataract).
The surgery is performed while examining the eye under a microscope. Delicate surgical instruments are inserted into the eye through a small incision in the sclera (the white part of the eye).
To achieve the best possible vision for you, the ophthalmologist will perform one or several of the following procedures:
Removing all cloudy vitreous
Removing damaged tissue if present and attempting to reposition the retina to its original location.
Removing any foreign bodies that may be in the eye.
Laser treatment to reduce the risk of future bleeding or to seal retinal breaks.
Replacing gas or air in the eye to help hold the retina in place (the bubble will gradually disappear).
Replacing silicone oil in the eye, which usually requires a subsequent surgery.
After the surgery
Pain or discomfort after surgery is expected. Using an eye shield for a short period after the operation is recommended. Your ophthalmologist will talk to you about the use of eye drops and the timing of resuming regular activities.
Please pay attention to your ophthalmologist’s recommendations regarding the specific head positioning, as neglecting this aspect can disrupt the treatment.
Until the gas bubbles have dissipated, flying in an airplane or traveling to high altitudes is prohibited because a rapid increase in altitude can lead to an increased and potentially dangerous eye pressure.
In cases where silicone oil is used, it’s necessary to have regular check-ups at specified intervals because over time, silicone oil can lead to problems, and there may be a need to remove the oil as soon as possible.
Potential risks and complications of vitrectomy surgery
All surgeries carry risks, but in vitrectomy, the ratio of complications to benefits is relatively low.
How much will your vision improve?
The improvement of your vision after surgery depends on several variables, especially in cases where a pre-existing eye condition has caused permanent damage to the retina. Your ophthalmologist will explain the likelihood of vision improvement based on your specific circumstances.