Treatment Options

About Vitrectomy Surgery

Vitrectomy is an eye surgery used to treat retinal diseases. It involves the clear, jelly-like fluid (vitreous) that fills the back of the eye. The vitreous gives shape to the eyeball just like air gives shape to a balloon. But in some diseases, it becomes cloudy or starts pulling on the retina. In these cases, the vitreous may need to be replaced. Vitrectomy is the surgery used to remove and replace this fluid.

Conditions treated with vitrectomy:

  • Vitreous hemorrhage
  • Severe eye trauma
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Retinal Detachment
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity

Before the Surgery:

  • Get a complete physical examination
  • Get your eyes screened by a surgeon. The surgeon will look at the vitreous and determine the best anesthesia
  • Find out if you will have to stay overnight in the hospital

During Surgery:

The surgery lasts 1-2 hours and involves the following steps:

  1. An injection to numb the eye
  2. Removal of the vitreous
  3. The vitreous will immediately be replaced by salt solution, gas, or silicone oil
  4. Tiny stitches may be used to close the wound

After the Surgery:

After surgery, the salt solution or gas bubble will slowly disappear. It will be replaced by fluid made by the eye. If your eye was filled with silicone oil (instead of salt solution or gas), the oil must be removed in 3-6 months.

  • Use your eye drops as instructed by the doctor
  • Avoid heavy work for a few days
  • Do not lift heavy objects for a few days after the surgery
  • Patients treated with gas should:
    • Lie down or sleep on their stomach for 15 days
    • Tilt the head/face down while sitting
    • Avoid traveling by airplane for 45 days. At such high altitudes, the eye pressure can rise dangerously. You may use bus or train instead.