Vitrectomy & vitreoretinal surgery
Vitreoretinal surgery refers to a group of procedures performed deep inside the eye to treat eye problems involving the retina, macula, and vitreous fluid. Various vitreoretinal surgical procedures can help to restore, preserve and improve vision for many eye conditions. These include:
- Retinal detachment
- Macular hole
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Epiretinal membrane
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Vitreous haemorrhage
What is a vitrectomy?
A vitrectomy is a specific type of vitreoretinal eye surgery. It involves removing the vitreous, a gel-like substance located in the middle of the eye. This will then allow an eye surgeon to carry out further procedures inside the eye.
At Circle Health, a vitrectomy is usually carried out as a day-case procedure under local anaesthetic –where you will be awake but will not feel pain or see the procedure being performed. In some cases, it is carried out under general anaesthetic – where you will be asleep.
Vitrectomy: the procedure
During the procedure, your consultant will use the latest micro-instruments and optical equipment to perform your eye surgery. At the end of the procedure, he or she will replace the vitreous gel with a bubble of silicone oil or a mixture of air and gas. This bubble will lightly press your retina against the wall of your eye to help it to heal.
Your body will replace the gas with natural fluids over 3-4 weeks. Air usually takes about a week to be reabsorbed into your body. If oil is used, your consultant will remove it with a second minor surgery, similar to the vitrectomy.
When will I recover?
At Circle Health, you should be able to leave the hospital the same day after the procedure. At home, you may need to keep your head in a certain posture for a while. This posture will help the gas or oil bubble stay in the right place against the retina. Your doctor will tell you what position to use.
After the vitrectomy, it usually takes a few weeks for your vision to return. Your consultant will give you detailed instructions about caring for your eye, and will arrange follow-up clinical visits.
What are the risks?
As with any surgery, vitreoretinal surgery and vitrectomy have risks. Your Circle Health consultant will discuss the specific benefits and risks of each procedure with you at a clinical consultation to help you decide upon the most appropriate treatment for you.
Book a private consultation for vitrectomy and vitreoretinal surgery