A vitrectomy is an outpatient surgical procedure that is used as a treatment for many eye conditions, including macular hole, macular pucker, diabetic retinopathy, macular edema, vitreous hemorrhage, neovascularization, uveitis, and macular degeneration. A vitrectomy involves removing the vitreous gel from the inside of the eye. The vitreous may be replaced with an air bubble or silicone oil to promote healing and protect the retina. A retinal specialist has completed an intensive two year vitreoretinal surgery training program in state-of-the-art vitrectomy procedures.
Scleral buckle is a treatment procedure to repair a detached retina. It involves securing a thin band of silicone around the sclera, the white part of your eye. Buckles are placed to create an indentation under the retina and support the highest risk areas for retinal tears. The procedure moves the tissues in the eye closer together and releases fluid under the retina, causing the retina to reattach. Scleral buckles are performed with local or general anesthesia. They are most frequently performed as outpatient procedures.
In some cases, a cataract cannot be removed completely, and some of the lens material remains within the eye.
What can be done about the retained lens fragments?
If the amount of retained lens material is small, it may dissolve spontaneously. If there is a large amount of lens material left behind, or if the eye develops problems with elevated pressure or severe inflammation, a second procedure can be performed to remove the lens material and help restore vision.
If I need surgery, what does this involve?
This surgery, called a vitrectomy, involves making tiny incisions in the white part of the eye (the sclera). Microsurgical instruments are used to suction the lens material from inside the eye. The vitreous gel–which fills the back of the eye—is also removed in order to completely clean out all of the lens material and associated inflammatory debris. A special saline solution is instilled into the eye as the vitreous and lens material are aspirated.
If necessary, an intraocular lens can be implanted at the time of the vitrectomy, or the position of an existing lens implant can be adjusted.
After surgery, the vision often will remain somewhat blurred as the eye continues to heal. In most cases, patients requiring surgery for retained lens material experience very good visual acuity. Less frequently, complications such as swelling of the retina (CME), persistent elevation of eye pressure (glaucoma), or persistent inflammation (uveitis) can occur. Your doctor will monitor carefully for these conditions following surgery, and most can be treated successfully with medication. In rare instances, the risk of infection (endophthalmitis) due to the retained material can require more intensive, emergent management.