The center of the eye is composed of a clear, gel-like substance known as the vitreous. The vitreous is more than 30 percent of the eye's volume, providing the eye with its shape. Due to the size and consistency of the vitreous it is prone to diseases that cause the vitreous to:

  • Cloud
  • Fill with blood
  • Harden
  • Prevent light from reaching the retina

These diseases may lead to blurred vision, tears or other serious conditions.

Conditions Treated With a Vitrectomy

Patients with a disease or injury to the vitreous may require a vitrectomy to address their condition. Some of these conditions include:

  • Vitreous floaters
  • Retinal detachment
  • Macular pucker
  • Macular hole
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Vitreous hemorrhage
  • Vitreous injury or infection

The Vitrectomy Procedure

A vitrectomy removes the vitreous by suctioning it out with tiny instruments inserted into the eye. Upon removal, the retina may be treated with a laser to:

  • Cut or remove scar tissue
  • Flatten detached areas of the retina
  • Repair holes or tears in the retina

Patients may experience mild discomfort and redness for several days after this procedure, and may wear an eye patch for a few days. While results vary, depending on the individual condition treated, most patients experience an improved visual acuity after the procedure.

Complications of a Vitrectomy

There are certain risks associated with any surgical procedure. Some of these risks include retinal detachment, fluid buildup, growth of new blood vessels, infection and further bleeding into the vitreous gel.

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