When the vitreous fluid becomes clouded or scarred as a result of retinal disorders, your vision can be compromised.

A vitrectomy involves removing the gel-like vitreous to repair retinal issues and restore vision. There are both surgical and laser options.

So why should you consider a vitrectomy?


A Vitrectomy Can Treat a Wide Range of Conditions

Receive the Treatments You Need

A vitrectomy is often the first step in treating conditions such as diabetic retinopathy and retinal detachment. By removing the vitreous, your doctor can address the cause of your vision issues and preserve your sight.

Improve Your Vision

When the vitreous becomes clouded, scarred, or filled with debris or blood, light can no longer reach the retina. Removing and replacing the vitreous can solve or improve the issue and allow for clearer vision

Enhanced Precision and No Need for Sutures

The equipment used for vitrectomy surgery has vastly improved since the 1970s. Self-sealing, sutureless incisions and smaller instruments make the procedure more comfortable and reduce recovery times

illustration of vitrectomy illustration of vitrectomy

Severe Complications after Vitrectomy Are Rare

Will Removing the Vitreous Affect My Sight?

The majority of vitrectomy surgeries have a high success rate, with 82 percent of patients experiencing better eyesight. For patients with leaking blood vessels from diabetic retinopathy or other concerns, a vitrectomy can dramatically improve vision.

After the procedure, your doctor will fill the inside of your eye with sterile saline or a gas bubble to replace the vitreous and maintain the position of your retina. This way, light can enter the eye properly.

Improve Your Eye Health with a Short, Outpatient Procedure

Vitrectomy surgery typically takes place at an outpatient surgical center and lasts from one to several hours. Since clouding of the vitreous is typically related to another condition, your doctor may combine the surgery with additional procedures.

Before beginning, your surgeon will numb the eye and administer sedation to help you feel relaxed and comfortable. Then they will use tiny tools to address one or more related issues. This can involve:

Removing all affected vitreous

​​Removing scar tissue 

Restoring the retina to its proper position

Removing cataracts

Removing a foreign object from the eye

They can then place an air or gas bubble, or fill the eye with saline solution to secure the retina. Once the procedure is complete, you will likely receive eye drops to use during the healing process. This may include antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops. If your doctor places a gas bubble, you will need to keep your head face-down for two to four days until the gas dissolves.

Contact a Doctor to Learn More

Generally, a vitrectomy is only recommended when the severity of the condition is threatening to or causing vision loss and non-surgical healing is unlikely. However, certain conditions may have alternative, non-invasive options which your doctor can try before recommending a vitrectomy. The alternatives available to you will depend on the condition you have. 

A vitrectomy can have a dramatic effect on the health of your eye and the clarity of your vision. Contact an eye doctor to learn more about the benefits of vitrectomy surgery. 

The doctors at Cohen Eye Associates, Limited

Cohen Eye Associates, Limited

At Cohen Eye Associates in St. Louis, MO, our team offers a full-service optical shop to address all of your vision needs. We can provide you and your family a range of eye care services, from LASIK and cataract surgery to glaucoma treatment. Our doctors are members of national professional organizations including:

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
  • American Medical Association
  • American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
  • American Glaucoma Society
  • American Optometric Association

To schedule an appointment with our eye care specialists, contact us online or call us at (314) 361-5003.

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