Vitrectomy is a surgical procedure that may be used for the treatment of retinal detachment, vitreous hemorrhage, and macular holes. While it is not the only treatment for these conditions offered by our San Diego eye surgeons, it is often the most effective. What will best serve your specific needs can be determined during your surgical evaluation with one of our experienced ophthalmologists.
The Vitrectomy Procedure
The vitreous body is the clear gel substance inside the eye. Vitrectomy is used to remove the vitreous gel from the center of the eye to provide better access to the retina. This allows for the retina to be repaired and any blood or scar tissue to be removed. The vitrectomy procedure is normally performed on an outpatient basis in a hospital or surgery center. Minimal anesthesia is required, and there is very little to no pain.
Once removed, this vitreous gel is replaced with a saline solution, silicone oil, or gas to restore proper pressure in the eye. These solutions also work to reattach or smooth retinal cells that have been puckered, scarred, or detached. Over time, the air or gas bubble that holds the retina in place disappears, and is replaced with normal vitreous gel. Most vitrectomies are performed in conjunction with another procedure, such as laser treatment to address the source of any bleeding.
Postoperative care will include the use of an eye patch to help guard against infection and damage. Optimal results may require laying in a specific position for a short period as well, so that the air or gas bubble will remain in the correct position. While this step is not always necessary, it is often recommended, as laying face-up or in the wrong position can cause pressure on other parts of the eye and lead to complications. One of our San Diego vitrectomy doctors will discuss the usefulness of this step during your surgical planning phase.
Initial recovery from vitrectomy typically takes 24 to 48 hours. During this period it is best if you avoid strenuous activities including work. Most normal activities can be resumed within a few days, though full recovery can take several weeks. This will be discussed in greater detail during your initial consultation.
Vitrectomy is an incredibly effective treatment, but may come with risks including corneal edema, infection, and retinal detachment. While rare, these risks are possible and will need to be considered before your procedure.
The ophthalmologists at California Retina Associates are highly skilled and internationally recognized for their work with retinal disorders. Every care is taken to prevent complications and to ensure your safety, comfort, and satisfaction at all times while you are in our care.
San Diego Vitrectomy
To learn more about vitrectomy or to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced San Diego retina specialists, please contact us today. We maintain offices in San Diego and beyond to better serve people living throughout our state.
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