About Retina and Vitreous
This information is intended for general information only and should not be considered as medical advice on the part of Health-Tourism.com. Any decision on medical treatments, after-care or recovery should be done solely upon proper consultation and advice of a qualified physician.
The retina is the inner coat at the back of the eye which is light sensitive. It converts light rays into impulses, which are sent to the brain through the optic nerve.
The vitreous body or vitreous humour is the clear gel take up the space between the lens and the retina of the eyeball.
A retina specialist is a medical doctor who specializes in ophthalmology. A retina specialist may also sub-specialize in vitreoretinal medicine, which is a specialization in diseases and surgery of the vitreous body and the retina.
Vitrectomy, on the other hand, is the surgical removal of the vitreous from the middle of the eye. It is done to give the doctor better access to the back of the eye in case of retinal detachment, or if blood in the vitreous gel in case of a vitreous hemorrhage does not clear on its own.Why is Vitrectomy done?
Several eye conditions may necessitate the drainage of the vitreous. The drainage is done to allow the ophthalmologist access to the parts of the eye needing attention. Vitrectomy is done to:
- Prevent traction retinal detachment to avoid damage to the macula.
- Repair large lacerations in the retina.
- Correct or reduce vision loss that may be as a result of severe bleeding in the vitreous gel, especially when the blood does not clear on its own.
- Treat severe proliferative retinopathy which causes the formation of scar tissue.
- Treat continued neovascularization, which is the growth of new blood vessels on the retina despite repeated laser treatment.
In this surgery, an oil bubble is often used since unlike an air bubble, the oil bubble does not move around in the eye. The oil bubble makes recovery easier for patients of all ages who may have trouble keeping their head and eye in the proper position.How Well Does Vitrectomy Work?
Expectations after Surgery
- Surgery can restore some vision lost due to traction retinal detachment as well as prevent further detachment. The results are better when macula has not been affected by the detachment.
- Vitrectomy also significantly improves visual acuity in people who have suffered severe vitreous hemorrhage that has not cleared on its own.
Vitrectomy often lasts 2 to 3 hours. The surgeon determines whether general or local anesthesia will be used for the surgery. The procedure may be done as outpatient surgery, but in most cases, it requires an overnight stay at the hospital.
The doctors will always advise the patient on how to position themselves at home. The patient may be needed to place themselves in the position for a while to allow the gas or oil bubble to push against the detachment.
Certain abnormal complications may develop after the surgery. Contact your doctor immediately should you notice any of the following:
- Increasing pain
- Increasing redness
- Decreasing vision
- Swelling around the eye
- Discharge from the eye
- Flashes of light or changes in your field of vision.
Risks : Like any medical procedure, there is a certain level of risk involved. In a few cases, the process may cause elevated pressure inside the eye, especially for glaucoma patients.
Besides intraocular pressure, several other vision-threatening risks that are linked to vitrectomy include:
Further bleeding into the vitreous gel.
Fluid buildup in the clear covering of the eye (corneal edema).
Infection inside the eye (endophthalmitis).
Cataracts may form after surgery.
Vitrectomy is usually done to remove blood from the vitreous gel which results from vitreous hemorrhage. However, it is often the last result as most doctors recommend waiting for six months to one year to see if the blood clears on its own.
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