Dr n. med. Agnieszka Kardaszewska
What is it?
It is a range of ophthalmic procedures in the deep structures of eyeball that is located behind the lens. Literally vitrectomy stands for treatment of excision of vitreous body that is a gel substance filling interior of an eyeball. However, it may also serve to treat many diseases of retina - the delicate tissue responsible for vision.
This procedure that not only saves the vision, but also the eye itself, for instance, in the case of endophthalmitis. It is also performed after eye injuries, particularly those in which eyeball coats have been affected. Vitrectomy done up to 2 weeks after an injury to the eye gives a chance for recovery of the eye, even if after the trauma there is no sense of light in the affected eye.
How does it work?
It is a surgical procedure involving making extremely small (less than 1 mm long) incisions in the eyeball. Through them tools and materials necessary to perform the surgery are introduced to the interior of the eye. Depending on the disease the eye is filled in with:
- physiological fluid,
- gas (disappears after 2-4 weeks)
- silicone oil (mainly in the case of eyes with advanced lesions or injuries - oil requires subsequent removal).
In most cases the surgery does not require stitches and the patient stays in the center only for one day. The first postoperative check-up examination is performed 7-10 days after the surgery and the following one after 4-6 weeks. Certain specific cases might require more frequent check-ups.
What can be treated with vitrectomy?
Vitrectomy helps to cure a number of diseases. Some examples include:
- retinal detachment
- vitreous hemorrhages,
- vitreous opacities,
- epiretinal membranes, causing distortion and deterioration of vision,
- macular holes,
- diabetic retinopathy,
- diabetic macular oedema,
- macular oedema secondary to central retinal vein occlusion,
- certain cases of age-related macular degeneration.