Vitrectomy

Vitreous gel fills the space between the crystalline lens and the retina, helping the eye maintain its spherical shape. Certain conditions – such as retinal detachment or diabetic retinopathy – may require a vitrectomy, a surgery that removes vitreous gel from inside the eye in order to access the retina. At our Philadelphia, PA, practice, Dr. Mark C. Montag specializes in vitreoretinal procedures. He is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology

When Is a Vitrectomy Necessary?

Conditions requiring a vitrectomy include:

  • Retinal detachment: If the retina is pulled, forced, or lifted from its appropriate position, it is referred to as retinal detachment. If left untreated, this condition can lead to permanent vision loss.
  • Diabetic retinopathy: When blood sugar levels rise, the risk for retinal trauma increases. Diabetic retinopathy is characterized by swollen, leaky, or obstructed blood vessels in the retina. In some cases, new blood vessels can develop on the retina. All of these conditions can ultimately lead to vision loss.
  • Macular holes: Located in the center of the retina, the macula helps achieve sharp, detailed vision. Occasionally, small breaks called macular holes can develop. This condition can directly cause distorted or blurred vision.

If you are experiencing any changes in your vision, schedule a consultation with us as soon as possible.

How Does a Vitrectomy Work?

To perform a vitrectomy, your surgeon numbs the eye using local anesthesia. If necessary, general anesthesia can be provided as well. Once you are comfortable, the vitreous gel inside the eye will be removed using a vitrector, a tool that removes vitreous in pieces. Next, your doctor will perform the treatments necessary to repair the retina. Finally, the gel is replaced with a saline solution, gas bubble, or silicone oil to help the eye maintain its proper shape. 

In some cases, a laser may be utilized to prevent post-operative bleeding and the formation of scar tissue. This process is referred to as photocoagulation. 

vitrectomy
A vitrectomy removes the vitreous gel to give your surgeon access to the retina.

Healing and Recovery

Patients undergoing a vitrectomy can expect some degree of discomfort and irritation during recovery. Your doctor will provide instructions for managing discomfort. You will also be provided with medicated drops, which will help soothe the eyes. Swelling is also a common side effect, but typically diminishes after the first several days. 

If you experience severe or throbbing pain, be sure to call us right away. We can provide you with further instructions.

The duration of your recovery and the amount of time needed for your vision to stabilize will depend on the issue being treated.  

Why Choose Our Practice?

At Ophthalmology Physicians and Surgeons, PC, we believe in treating our patients the same way we would treat a member of our own family. Combining skill, knowledge, and compassion, we can deliver unparalleled care and beneficial results. 

Contact Us to Learn More

Retinal issues can result in permanent vision loss if they are not addressed right away. If you are experiencing any changes in your vision, schedule a consultation with us as soon as possible. You can call us at (215) 672-4300 or contact us online anytime.

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