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Vitrectomy is an eye surgery that treats retinal and vitreous disorders. The retina is the light-sensing tissue at the back of the eye. The vitreous is the clear, gel-like substance that fills the middle of the eye. During a vitrectomy, the vitreous gel is removed and normally replaced by a saltwater solution.

Vitrectomy surgery helps to improve or stabilize vision. It removes any blood or debris that may be present as a result of an infection or inflammation. The operation will also remove any scar tissue present that can displace, wrinkle or tear the retina. Vitrectomy surgery is also used to remove foreign objects that may be stuck in the eye as a result of an injury.

Vitrectomy surgery may be recommended to treat the following eye problems:

What can be expected following surgery?

Patients can expect some mild to moderate discomfort following surgery. An eye patch will need to be worn for a short while after surgery and an eye drop will be prescribed. If your surgery requires a gas bubble to be placed in your eye, it may be recommended that you keep your head in a special position until the gas bubble is gone.

What risks are involved?

Some risks of a vitrectomy include:

  • Bleeding
  • Retinal detachment
  • Infection
  • Poor vision
  • High pressure in the eye
  • Accelerated cataract formation

How much vision improvement can be expected?

There are a number of variables that will determine how well one's vision will improve following surgery, especially if permanent damage was caused to your retina before the surgery. Your doctor will work with you individually to develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your individual needs and will explain how much eyesight improvement is possible.