A vitrectomy is a type of eye surgery to treat various problems with the retina and vitreous. During the surgery, your surgeon removes the vitreous and replaces it with another solution. The vitreous is a gel-like substance that fills the middle portion of your eye.
Loading the player...What is Vitrectomy Surgery? Dr. Amit Gupta, MD, FACS, Ophthalmologist, discusses what vitrectomy surgery is and who it is typically reserved for.
Vitrectomy surgery for diabetes can be done in the most extreme cases, when there’s blood in the eye or extra growth of blood vessels. These blood vessels can tear up the retina, and perhaps the reason for the surgery is that they are already affecting the retina and pulling on it. It is done in an operating room setting, which may be a private clinic or a hospital setting, but it is a true surgery in the sense that it cannot be done without the sterile operating room conditions for vitrectomy surgery .
It requires putting in three needle-sized incisions in the eye, through which the surgeon operates using a microscope. Very delicate surgery, blood inside the eye can be removed, the growth of scar tissue caused by diabetes can be removed, the retina is put back into place, laser can be performed at the time, and in the end the eye is restored to its original shape and size inside; the retina is put back in its proper place.
The amount of vision recovery from this surgery depends on how bad the retina was to begin with. It is, in those situations, the only way of getting some vision back. After the surgery, the recovery period will be many weeks, you may be away from work for one or two weeks. There may be a gas bubble inside the eye. If there’s a gas bubble, you are not allowed to travel by air until the bubble is gone; bubbles can last from a few weeks up to two months.
In the end, is it worth it? Well, it may be the only way to save your vision, and yes, it is worth it in those situations, but it is, because of its complexity, reserved as a last line of defense against diabetic retinopathy. Often seeing a local Ophthalmologists or Optometrist in conjunction with your family physician or a registered dietician is a great option to dealing with eye conditions and symptoms. Smart Food Now and exercise is also important for overall health.
For more information, talk to your eye doctor, who may refer you to a retinal surgeon, for more information and treatment plans. Presenter: Dr. Amit Gupta, Ophthalmologist, Scarborough, ON