Vitrectomy

Medical content revised by - Last revision 04/05/2018
Vitrectomy

What is vitrectomy?

Vitrectomy is a type of eye surgery to treat problems of the retina and the vitreous. Retina is a light-sensitive tissue located in the back of the eye. Vitreous is the clear gel substance that fills the eye.

Vitrectomy consists of the extraction of the vitreous humor fluid and, usually, replacing it with a saline solution or with a bubble of gas, air or silicone oil. When the vitreous is replaced by gas or by silicone, it may be necessary for the patient to lay face down or on his side for a few days during postrecovery. Moreover, if the inside of the eye is filled with gas or air, it is forbidden to fly in an airplane or travel up higher than 500 metres above the sea level until the gas bubble is gone, since rapid altitude changes can affect it.

When is it necessary to perform a vitrectomy?

The ophthalmologist may consider necessary to perform a vitrectomy when one of the following eye problems is present:

How can vitrectomy improve vision?

Vitrectomy can often improve or stabilize vision. The procedure removes bleeding or the remains of an infection or inflammation that could block or blur the light by focusing on the retina. Moreover, it also eliminates scar tissue that could move, tear or rip the retina.

This surgery can also help to remove a foreign object, that has remained inside the eye after a perforating trauma,and that could damage vision if not removed.

Before the surgery

The ophthalmologist may recommend performing an ocular ultrasound scan, Retinal Optical Coherence Tomography, or other texts to examine the eye.

What happens during vitrectomy?

Vitrectomy is usually performed in an outpatient surgery center and it takes between half an hour to several hours. It is performed under local or general anesthesia to numb the eye.

During surgery, the ophthalmologist makes three small cuts or incisions of less than 1 millimeter in the white of the eye, the sclera, with the use of a microscope to see inside the eye. The surgeon will use tiny surgical instruments to do one or more of the following steps:

  • Remove all cloudy vitreous
  • Remove scar tissue from retina
  • Remove objects that should not be in the eye
  • Return retina to the correct position in the back of the eye
  • Use of laser to repair torn retina
  • Place a gas or air bubble in the eye to help the retina to remain in its correct position (gas bubble disappears by its own)
  • Place a silicone oil bubble in the eye (the oil is removed after a second surgery)

After the surgery

The ophthalmologist will prescribe medicine to relieve pain and eye drops that should be used for several weeks. The ophthalmologist will also tell the patient when to go back to normal activities.

Risks of the surgery

Like any other surgery, vitrectomy has risks. Nevertheless, they are by far outweighted by the benefits of improved vision.

Some of the riscks are: bleeding, detached retina, high intraocular pressure or infections.

 

Related articles

Eye injuries

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT… Eye injuries may be of different types: closed globe injuries (blow or contusion caused by a blunt object) or penetrating injuries (caused by a perforating object). Chemical products may also cause them when in contact with the eyes. Eye contusions may lead to cataracts, glaucoma, inflammations, haemorrhages, and retinal […]

Macular epiretinal membrane

Symptoms Macular epiretinal membrane causes a slow and progressive visual loss lasting months or years, and affecting one or both eyes. Generally, it causes image distortion, and undulation of straight lines. Numbers and letters can appear to be in another line, and perception of colors may be decreased. Signs The typical sign is a  semitransparent […]

Macular hole

Symptoms A macular hole causes loss of central vision and image distortion in the eye. The distortion is manifested as a bending or waviness of straight lines or objects can begin to look bent or wavy and numbers and letters jump out of line. Other symptoms manifested by patients are a central grey spot or […]

Do you have any questions?

Contact us or request an appointment with one of our Retina and Vitreous specialists.

Visit us at:

ICR Ganduxer Headquarters

c/Ganduxer,117
08022 Barcelona See map

ICR Pau Alcover

C. Pau Alcover 67
08017 Barcelona See map

ICR Terrassa

77, Del Nord St.
08221 Terrassa See map

Clínica Bonanova Surgical Center

Passeig Bonanova, 22
08022 Barcelona See map

Clinica Bonanova Tests and Treatments

c/ Mandri, 63
08022 Barcelona See map

ICR Service at Clínica Ntra. Sra. del Remei

c/ de l'Escorial,148
08024 Barcelona See map

ICR Ganduxer Headquarters

Telephone number 93 254 79 20
Emergencies phone number: 93 418 72 27

Opening hours:
Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturdays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

How to get there More information

ICR Pau Alcover

Telephone number (+34) 93 378 23 19

Opening hours:
Monday to Friday from 8 am to 8 pm. Saturday from 8 am to 2 pm.

How to get there More information

ICR Terrassa

Telephone number +34 93 736 34 40

Opening hours:
Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

How to get there More information

Clínica Bonanova Surgical Center

Telephone number 934 34 09 25

Opening hours:
Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

How to get there More information

Clinica Bonanova Tests and Treatments

How to get there More information

ICR Service at Clínica Ntra. Sra. del Remei

Telephone number 902 10 10 50

Opening hours:
Every day from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday mornings from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

How to get there More information

This website uses cookies in order to collect statistical information regarding navigation. If you keep on surfing this website, it shall be deemed to have acknowledged its use. More information.