Vitreous or vitreous humor is a transparent gel that makes up around 80 percent of the eyeball. It provides a transparent medium for the light to travel within the eye and reach the retina. Vitreous is present between the eye lens and the retina.
Vitrectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the abnormal vitreous so that the image can be properly projected over the retina. Sometimes, a vitrectomy is performed for a normal vitreous, so that the surgeon can access the retina properly. This is done during the repair of a retinal hole or tear.
How long does it take to clear vision after vitrectomy?
It may take around two-four weeks or even more to get a clear vision after the vitrectomy procedure.
The clarity of the vision after the procedure may be affected by the following factors:
- The eye drops used to dilate eyes during surgery may also cause blurry vision. Your doctor may also prescribe these drops for a few days after the surgery. This may cause the persistence of blurry vision.
- The surgery involves making multiple cuts on the whites of the eyes. If these stitches are very close to the cornea, they change its shape causing blurry vision.
- If the vitrectomy was done to repair a large hole in the retina, the damage to the retina may not fully recover. Such vision loss may persist.
- If the vitrectomy was done to repair the retinal swelling due to diabetes, it may recover to some extent. The time for this may vary depending on individuals and the blood sugar levels.
What are the applications for vitrectomy?
The vitrectomy is done for the following conditions:
- Retinal detachment or hole or tear: Separation of the retina (the light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye where an image is projected) from surrounding blood vessels.
- Chorioretinitis: Infection and severe retinal swelling due to viruses or bacteria.
- Diagnostic Vitrectomy: Done in very severe infections to find the organism responsible for it.
- Endophthalmitis: Severe infection and swelling of the inside of the eye including the vitreous. It may be due to bacteria, viruses, or even fungus.
- Foreign body in the eye
- Retinopathy in Diabetes: Swelling of the retina and development of abnormal blood vessels in the retina which may cause scarring.
- Vitreous hemorrhage: bleeding inside the vitreous.
What is the vitrectomy procedure?
Vitrectomy may be performed as an emergency procedure or a planned procedure.
The procedure is done under local anesthesia. You will be given drugs that make you sleepy. The operation is done with the help of a microscope. The eye surgeon makes three cuts on the whites of the eye, around the iris (colored part of the eye) each cut 3mm apart. The cuts are called sclerotomies. Each cut is used for a specific function.
- Through the first cut, a balanced salt solution is pushed into the eye, so that the eyeball shape does not collapse as the vitreous is removed.
- The second cut is used for inserting light, for better visibility of structures.
- The third cut is used to insert the instruments inside the eyeball. These instruments cut and suction the jelly-like vitreous humor out of the eye.
A laser probe may be used during the procedure to seal a macular or a retinal hole. It may also be used to burn away any abnormal blood vessels over the retina. If there is bleeding or infection inside the gel, it is also suctioned out. Sometimes, a gas bubble or silicon droplet is injected inside the eye after vitrectomy to provide better support to the retina.
The eye is bandaged with sterile gauze and an antibiotic ointment.
The silicon droplet if inserted is removed after a few weeks in a separate surgery.
The purpose of vitrectomy is to re-establish a transparent medium for the light to travel from the lens to the retina (which transmits the image to the brain).
Does vitrectomy have any side effects?
The success rate of vitrectomy is around 90 percent.
However, like any procedure, even vitrectomy has complications. Here are some of the side effects of vitrectomy.
- Infection: These may be due to improper sterilization of tools used in the surgery. The risk of infections is also high in patients with poor immunity.
- Bleeding: It is more common on the patients on the blood thinners such as heparin and warfarin.
- Retinal damage and swelling: This may be due to inadvertent contact between surgical tools and the retina.
- Damage to the lens: This may be due to contact with the tools with the lens. This may make you more prone to cataracts in the future.
- Change in the refractive power: This may need you to use specs
- Increased eye pressure: This can damage the optic nerve and cause blindness.
Latest Eyesight News
Daily Health News
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Parson’s Diseases of the eye, 22nd edition
Top Can You See Normal After Vitrectomy? Related Articles
Are Lazy Eyes Genetic?From a child’s birth until their 18th birthday, the brain and eyes form crucial connections. Genetics can play a role in causing lazy eyes. In case of a family history of amblyopia (lazy eye), it is better to consult an eye doctor at two years of age. Lazy eyes mainly occur in children and should be treated early.
Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)Eyelid surgery, also called blepharoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure in which drooping of the lower and/or upper eyelids is reduced by removing excess skin, muscle, and fat. Complications of the procedure include bleeding, infection, dry eyes, an inability to fully close the eyes, eyelid skin that folds in or out abnormally, abnormal skin discoloration of the eyelids, and a pulled-down lower lid lash line or a possible loss of vision.
Can PRK Surgery Correct Astigmatism?PRK surgery may be done to correct one of these refractive errors: nearsightedness (myopia), difficulty seeing distant objects, farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism - curvature of the cornea or lens is uneven, leading to distorted or blurred vision.
Dry Eye QuizWhat causes dry eye? Take this quiz to learn about dry eye syndrome and what can be done about it.
Eye AllergyEye allergy (or allergic eye disease) are typically associated with hay fever and atopic dermatitis. Medications and cosmetics may cause eye allergies. Allergic eye conditions include allergic conjunctivitis, conjunctivitis with atopic dermatitis, vernal keratoconjunctivitis, and giant papillary conjunctivitis. Dry eye, tear-duct obstruction, and conjunctivitis due to infection are frequently confused with eye allergies. Eye allergies may be treated with topical antihistamines, decongestants, topical mast-cell stabilizers, topical anti-inflammatory drugs, systemic medications, and allergy shots.
Eye Anatomy Detail PictureThe eye has a number of components which include but are not limited to the cornea, iris, pupil, lens, retina, macula, optic nerve, choroid and vitreous. See a picture of Eye Anatomy Detail and learn more about the health topic.
Common Eye ProblemsEye diseases can cause damage and blindness if not treated soon enough. Learn the warning signs and symptoms of common eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, pink eye, macular degeneration and more.
Eye Mistakes You Might Be MakingYou may be hurting your eyes and not even know it. Find out if you are and what you can do to stop it.
Watery EyesAlways tearing up? Everyday things can make your eyes water, but so can some medical conditions.
Eye Conditions QuizWhat do you know about your eyes? Take this quick quiz to learn about a range of eye diseases and conditions.
How Do You Treat a Swollen Eyelid?Your eyelids might swell due to local infection, trauma, or any other illness, where fluid builds up in the entire body. Depending on the cause, one or both eyelids may become swollen.
How long after PRK does vision improve?PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) is a type of laser surgery used to correct refractive errors such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. PRK was the first type of laser eye surgery for vision correction. LASIK was introduced after PRK and became more popular than PRK.
How Much Does Double Eyelid Surgery Cost?Double eyelid surgery in the U.S. costs a little over $3,000, according to the latest averages, not including hospital expenses. Double eyelid surgery (Asian blepharoplasty) is a cosmetic surgery for the eyes in which a crease or fold is made in the upper eyelid. Some Asian people who lack a crease in their upper eyelids may seek this surgery because they believe it improves their appearance.
Keratoplasty Eye Surgery (ALK)Keratoplasty eye surgery is used to correct nearsightedness and mild farsightedness. The procedure involves making incisions in the cornea and underlying tissue to correct vision. Potential side effects include infection, corneal scarring, glare, and the inability to wear contacts.
LASEK Laser Eye SurgeryLASEK is a type of laser surgery that is used to correct astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness. The procedure involves cutting the outer layer of the cornea with a fine blade to correct vision. Potential side effects include dry eyes, cloudy vision, reduced vision, and the sensation of having a foreign object in the eye.
Laser Eye SurgeryHow does LASIK work? Get information on this popular laser eye surgery, the procedure, success rates, and possible vision side effects from LASIK eye surgery.
LASIK Eye SurgeryLASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis) eye surgery is a procedure in which a laser is used beneath the corneal flap to reshape the cornea. This process is used to treat refractive errors, improve vision, and eliminate or reduce the need for contact lenses or glasses. LASIK eye surgery comes in three main types: conventional LASIK, wavefront-optimized LASIK, and wavefront-guided LASIK.