Vitrectomy surgery is a delicate microsurgical technique that is used to treat a variety of retinal diseases. In this operation, we make three small incisions in the eye wall (the sclera) allowing us to remove the vitreous gel that fills the inside of the eye. This vitreous gel is responsible for a large number of retinal disorders. In some cases, the gel needs to be removed because the eye is filled with blood. In other cases, removing the gel allows us access to the retinal surface to remove scar tissue and membranes or to fix a retinal detachment. Once this gel is removed, we have access to the delicate retina tissue and can do whatever work is necessary in order to bring your retina back to a more normal state. Laser treatment may be applied at the time of vitrectomy. In some cases, we may need to place a gas or oil bubble in your eye. This bubble acts like a “cast” to hold your retina in place while it heals. Importantly, if you need a gas bubble you cannot go to high elevations or fly in an airplane until the bubble dissipates. We will tell you approximately how long that will take. In addition, it may be necessary for you to hold your head in a special position for 5 to 7 days to allow the gas bubble to work. Again, we will review this with you at the time of your operation. For some retinal problems, we may need to operate more than once.
After the surgery, your eye may take several weeks or even several months to heal and achieve your best vision.