This surgical procedure, performed by retinal specialists, is used to remove the vitreous gel to address underlying retinal disorders. The surgeon uses fine instrumentation and a microscope for visualization. This surgery is now mostly performed using a cannula/trocar system, which creates an opening for instruments to enter the eye.
The instruments used most frequently in this procedure include a “light pipe” for visualization and a “cutter” to break up and vacuum out the vitreous gel. Once the gel is removed, other instruments—including microforceps to grab objects (such as scar tissue), picks for lifting and manipulating tissue, and laser probes to repair retina damage—are often used.
Occasionally, an air or gas bubble is left in the eye at the end of the surgery to assist in the repair. If this is the case, your doctor will explain the associated restrictions. However, if gas is present in the eye, you should not fly in an airplane or rapidly ascend to high altitude in a car.
Some examples of retinal diseases that are treated with vitrectomy surgery are retinal detachment, vitreous hemorrhage, epiretinal membrane (macular pucker), macular hole, and advanced diabetic retinopathy.
You will be able to return home on the same day of your surgery. As with any surgery, risks are involved and your retina specialist will address this with you prior to your procedure.