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Are you wondering what vitrectomy means? It is a surgical procedure performed by eye specialists to remove the fluid inside the eyeball, known as the vitreous humor.

This procedure allows better access to the retina, the essential layer of tissue at the back of your eye that sends signals to your brain, enabling you to see.

Your doctor may recommend a vitrectomy for several reasons:

  1. Retinal Issues: Vitrectomy helps treat conditions affecting the retina, such as retinal detachment, tears, or injury.
  2. Eye Infections: If your vitreous is infected or inflamed, vitrectomy can clear out the problematic fluid.
  3. Blood or Floaters: Sometimes, the vitreous contains blood or bits of tissue called floaters, which can impair vision.
  4. Other Eye Conditions: These conditions include cataracts, macular holes, and diabetic retinopathy.

How It is Done

  1. Preparation: Before the surgery, the person will not to eat or drink for eight hours. Anaesthesia options include mild anaesthesia to numb the eye or general anaesthesia if the person prefer to remain unconscious.
  2. Surgical Steps
    1. The surgeon ensures the eyelids are fully opened.
    1. A small incision is made into the first layer of eye tissue.
    1. The white tissue of the eye (sclera) is cut to access the vitreous.
    1. Instruments like cutters, scissors, and forceps are inserted through the incisions.
    1. A fiber-optic light helps the surgeon see inside the eye.
    1. The vitreous and any necessary tissues are removed.
    1. The vitreous is replaced with gas, air, or saline solution.
    1. Additional surgeries may be performed to repair the retina or remove damaged tissue.
    1. Stitches are used to close the incisions (in many cases, stitches are unnecessary).

Recovery and Outlook

  • After vitrectomy, the eye will gradually replace the saline solution or gas bubble with its natural fluid.
  • The doctor will monitor the progress and advise when the person can leave the hospital.
  • The person will need help getting home after the procedure and should prepare accordingly.

Success Rate and Cost

  • The success rate for vitrectomy is around 90 percent, even for patients over 60.
  • Costs vary based on location and individual factors.

Remember, vitrectomy is a valuable tool for improving vision and treating various eye conditions. Contact us for counselling if you have concerns about your eyes.