Procedures & Services > Treatment Options > Vitreous Surgery
A vitrectomy is a surgery that removes the vitreous gel that fills the eye. This surgery is indicated for several conditions including diabetic retinopathy, vitreous hemorrhage, retinal detachment, preretinal membrane, macular hole, endophthalmitis, and foreign bodies inside the eye from trauma. A vitrectomy is usually performed under general anesthesia.
Three small holes are made in the eye in order for the surgeon to insert necessary instruments for the surgery. A tiny light pipe is used to illuminate the inside of the eye; a small hose-like tube, called an infusion canula, is used to replace the gel that is removed from the eye. The third hole is used for various instruments such as vitrectomy cutting tools, delicate membrane scrapers, and forceps. During the surgery, the vitreous gel is removed and replaced by a clear fluid. The surgeon may use delicate instruments to remove scar tissue and/or preretinal membranes. Intraocular laser may be used if a retinal detachment, retinal tear, or vitreous hemorrhage is present.
In addition to vitrectomy, scleral buckling may be performed to repair a detached retina. A scleral buckle is a silicone band that it placed around the eye and kept in place with several sutures. The scleral buckle pushes against the retina; this helps alleviate pulling on any retinal holes. Retinal holes allow fluid under the retina, causing retinal detachments.
Every surgery is unique because every eye condition is unique. There are risks associated with any procedure, so it is very important to talk to your doctor about your eye condition and the need for surgery.