A vitrectomy is a surgery used to correct severe retinal detachments, large retinal tears, vitreous haemorrhage, extra tissue (membranes) on the retina, or severe infections on the eye.
In surgery, small openings are made in the eye to position a fibre-optic light, specialised scissors and delicate forceps. The vitreous gel (clear gel that fills most of the eyeball) of the eye is removed and replaced with a gas which refills the eye and repositions the retina. The gas is eventually absorbed and is replaced by the eye’s natural fluid.
Following surgery, patients use eye drops for several weeks to allow the surface of the eye to heal. Because of the gas used during surgery, patients are sometimes also required to hold certain head positions or sleep in a certain way to aid their recovery. The quality of eyesight regained after surgery is dependent on the condition of the eye prior to surgery and can range between complete 20/20 vision and vision only sufficient to walk safely.
Hamilton Eye Clinic has specialists who are experts at vitrectomies.