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Can eye floaters be removed with surgery?
Breaking up of eye floaters by the use of a YAG laser has been advocated by some ophthalmologists, but there is no evidence that this is both safe and effective. The use of a laser also poses significant risks to the vision in what is otherwise a healthy eye. The vitreous itself can also be surgically removed by a procedure called vitrectomy. This involves multiple incisions into the eye and is used in situations in which there is a large amount of non-clearing blood or inflammatory debris within the eye. Vitrectomy for the treatment of the common type of eye floaters due to vitreous syneresis or posterior vitreous detachment carries with it a significant risk of cataract formation or retinal detachment and a small but significant risk of serious infection or bleeding within the eye. In the past few years, use of smaller caliber instrumentation for vitrectomy and the performance of partial vitrectomy for vitreous floaters has reduced, but not eliminated those risks.