During retina surgery (vitrectomy), the vitreous gel is removed from your eye to allow your surgeon to treat problems such as retinal detachment, vitreous hemorrhage, scar tissue on the retina, and tears or holes in the retina.
Patients who have a torn or detached retina, bleeding in the eye, or scar tissue on the retina which impairs vision.
Retina surgery is done (along with other treatments) to: Repair or prevent retinal detachment. Repair large tears in the retina. Reduce bleeding in the vitreous gel (vitreous hemorrhage), if bleeding is severe or the blood does not clear on its own. Treat severe proliferative retinopathy in which scar tissue forms; or new blood vessels grow on the retina and leak blood into the eye.
Vitrectomy is a surgery to remove the vitreous gel from the middle of the eye. It is done when the retina is detached, torn or scarred; or, when there is blood in the vitreous gel (vitreous hemorrhage) and it does not clear on its own. Removing the vitreous gel gives your surgeon better access to the retina and the back of the eye. During surgery, the surgeon uses small tools to remove the vitreous gel. Then, he/she may treat problems such as retinal detachment, vitreous hemorrhage, scar tissue on the retina, and tears or holes in the retina. At the end of the surgery, the doctor may inject an oil or gas bubble into the eye. This lightly presses the retina against the wall of the eye. If an oil bubble is used, the doctor will need to remove the oil after your eye has healed.
Retina surgery typically lasts 1 to 2 hours. Your surgeon will decide if only your eye will be numb or if you will be asleep during surgery (local or general anesthesia).
Usually local anesthesia is used for this surgery. Your surgeon will discuss options with you.
Before surgery, an ophthalmic assistant or technician will prepare you for surgery. You will be assessed to determine if you are fit for local anesthetic.
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Do not plan on driving yourself home. Make arrangements for transportation home.
Vitrectomy is done by an eye surgeon who has special training in treating problems of the retina.