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Vitrectomy 101 – Surgical Procedure

Common causes of a vitrectomy

Most of the time, a vitrectomy is used so that a surgeon can have access to other areas of the eye without it getting in the way. For example, scar tissue on the retina or other problems with the retina, such as retinal detachment, will result in a patient having to undergo a vitrectomy so that the surgeon can access the retina easier to solve other problems.

Other conditions are also cause for a patient to undergo this procedure. The most common reason that patients need a vitrectomy related to the vitreous humour is a haemorrhage. The blood gets into the gel like material, and then it does not clear up on its own, resulting in impaired vision that can only be fixed with a vitrectomy.

The surgery

Most patients are concerned, curious or both about the surgery itself. There are so many options, that this should be discussed during a visit with the surgeon. Some doctors only numb the eye and the patient is awake during the procedure while others may be completely knocked out.

This procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis, but some patients may wind up spending the night at the hospital. The only way to tell is to discuss the surgery with the doctor that will be performing it.

Replacing the vitreous humour

This another area of concern for many patients. It makes sense that if something was there to fill that space, something not being there may cause problems. Surgeons make sure that there are no complications by injecting an air bubble or an oil bubble into that space. If an oil bubble is used, it is often removed and replaced by an air bubble after the eye has healed. This helps to keep the structure of the eye as it should be.

Vision after surgery

Many patients fear that they will not be able to see after surgery on their eye. Realistically, patients will not know what their vision will be until a few weeks after the procedure. Most patients will have to use antibiotic eye drops for a week or two, and anti-inflammatory eye drops for several weeks.

Individuals that were experiencing vision problems before the surgery will most likely see a significant improvement if the surgery was successful, and there is a high rate of success for these procedures for multiple conditions.

Patients are encouraged to discuss this with their doctor, as that is the only person that knows the reason for them having this surgery, and, because of this, they can give a much better answer.

This procedure can be scary, especially for individuals that have never had surgery before. The thought of a mistake being made is enough to make anyone feel anxious, but the chance of this happening is extremely small. These procedures have an extremely high success rate, and often help patients get back to living their live as they did before they started to have problems with their vision. The recovery time may last anywhere from a week to a few weeks, but most patients no longer need to use eye drops and are back to their normal routine in a few months, if not sooner.