WHAT IS VITREORETINAL SURGERY?
Vitreoretinal surgery refers to a set of procedures that is used to treat eye problems involving macula, retina, and vitreous fluid. The ocular problems that are treated by vitreoretinal surgery include macular hole, retinal detachment, epiretinal membrane and various complications related to diabetic retinopathy.
a) Retinal Detachment
Retinal detachment happens when inflammation, injuries, or vascular abnormalities cause buildup of fluid under the retina. This doesn’t lead to any tear, break, or hole. Tractional retinal detachment happens when neurovascularization, inflammation, or injury causes the fibrovascular tissue to pull the sensory retina from the retinal epithelium
What are the warning signs of detached retina?
Retinal detachment is in itself painless. Some of its symptoms include:
– Blurry vision
– Gradual loss of peripheral vision
– Shadowed visual field
– Flashes of light in eyes
– Sudden appearance of floaters
If your age is more than 50 Years and you are experiencing above symptoms, you should get yourself checked from a competent ophthalmologist to look for retinal detachment, which is a medical emergency. Any delay in seeking treatment can also lead to vision loss.
b)- Dropped Nucleus:
This is generally defined as loss of part or whole of nucleus of the eye. It is a well known complication of phacoemulsification surgery. A dropped nucleus needs to be effectively handled in order to avoid the risk of retinal damage.
There are two approaches of treating dropped nucleus – anterior segment approach and pars plana vitrectomy approach.
Compared to anterior segment approach , the rate of retinal detachment with pars plana vitrectomy ranges to 9%.
In order to minimize the risk of dropped nucleus, it is imperative to adopt appropriate surgical strategy.
It refers to the procedure to remove the vitreous gel from the middle of the eye. The procedure is required in case of retinal detachment and if blood in the vitreous gel doesn’t clear up on its own. It is important to note that clearing of the vitreous gel gives your ophthalmologist a better access to the back of the eye. Vitrectomy is performed by an ophthalmologist who has been trained in treating problems related to retina.
During the procedure, your ophthalmologist will use small tools to remove the vitreous gel. This is done in order to treat other eye problems like retinal detachment, scar tissue of the retina, vitreous hemorrhages, macular holes or tears.
Vitrectomy is generally done as an outpatient procedure. However, you may need to stay overnight in the hospital in some of the cases.
d) Macular Holes A macular hole refers to a defect of the foveal retina involving its full thickness from the internal limiting membrane to the outer segment of the photoreceptor layer.
Some of the symptoms of macular holes:
– Blurred central vision
– Distorted or wavy vision
– Difficulty in detail-oriented tasks like reading
– Gray area of central blind spot
What causes macular holes?
Sometimes macular holes development is caused by injury. There is, however, no known nutritional or chemical way for prevention of macular holes.
It refers to an inflammatory condition of intraocular cavities which is generally caused by infection. Sterile or non-infectious endopthalmitis may result from various causes like native lens material after a surgical procedure.
Symptoms of endophthalmitis include:
– Eye irritation and pain
– Visual symptoms as a result of immunosuppressive therapy
– Injected eye
– Periocular inflammation
Causes of endophthalmitis
It is a rare complication of eye surgery, most often cataract surgery and eye injections. Great caution needs to be maintained during the ophthalmic procedures in order to avoid infection.
Once endophthalmitis gets diagnosed, treatment is provided on urgent basis and comprises of a mixture of intraocular and oral antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and sometimes vitrectomy surgery. Quick and timely treatment results in restoration of eye’s function and vision. Sometimes removal of blind or painful eye becomes necessary in worst cases. It is highly important to maintain the follow-up regime to minimize damage.