What is Vitrectomy ?
The jelly like clear fluid that fills inside the eye is known as vitreous. Different diseases can lead the vitreous gel filled with blood or the gel can also get clouded or hard. This procedure misdirects the light entering the eye that does not reach onto the retina properly.
The surgical procedure of Vitrectomy is performed for removing the vitreous from the central cavity of the eye in order to correct vision. The surgery has proved advantageous for many diseases that include Retinal Detachments, Vitreous Hemorrhage, Macular Holes, Diabetic Retinopathy and Macular Pucker. One of the major benefits of Vitrectomy surgery is that it stabilizes and improves the vision.
Eye Disorders Treated by Vitrectomy
The eye conditions that need a Vitrectomy include –
- Some problems that are related to previous eye surgery.
- Macular Hole
- Complications of Diabetic Retinopathy like bleeding or retinal detachment.
- Infection or injury
- Retinal detachment
- Vitreous Hemorrhage (bleeding inside the eye).
- Pre-Retinal Membrane Fibrosis
Procedure for Vitrectomy
The Vitrectomy surgical procedure is performed under general or local anesthesia and is done on an outpatient basis. The operation takes about 2-4 hours to complete. Small incisions are made inside the eye so as to insert microscopic surgical tools such as a suction device, scalpels and an internal light source. The Vitreous is either replaced with an intraocular gas compound, silicone oil or a saline-based solution. This replacement helps in maintaining proper pressure in the eye and also stabilizes the natural vitreous tissue. The surgeon then uses small absorbable sutures for closing the incision site. Antibiotic drops or injections can also be used for preventing infection. Retinal Detachment Surgery or Laser Eye Therapy can also be performed along with Vitrectomy. The recovery usually takes about 2-4 weeks time.
A surgeon may use different techniques for vitrectomy surgery that include –
Silicone Oil : The silicone oil is used in place of gas so as to keep the retina attached after the surgery. The technique is beneficial when the lasting support of the retina is needed.
Scleral Buckling : This technique is used along with vitrectomy in order to produce more support to the re-attached retina.
Intraocular Gases : Either Sulfur Hexafluoride gas or Perfluropropane gas is used. This is combined with sterile air that remains in the eye for longer periods. To flatten a detached retina and also to keep it attached while healing, gas is used which is very helpful. For closing the macular holes, gas injections are used.
Endoscopy : This helps in viewing the inside of the eye through a monitor for seeing the intraocular structures. The technique is useful when the lens or cornea are cloudy and does not give a clear view under the microscope.
Lensectomy : The technique is used for removing the crystalline lens of the eye while performing vitrectomy surgery.
Microsurgical Instruments : Forceps, picks and scissors are the three microsurgical instruments that are used for manipulating intraocular structures.
Retinal Disorders Treated by Vitrectomy Surgery
- Age related macular degeneration
- Macular Hole
- Giant retinal tears
- Eye Injuries
- Tractional, recurrent or complicated retinal detachment
- Intraocular foreign body
- Epiretinal membrane
- Dislocated lens implants or retained lens material following the cataract surgery