Vitreoretinal surgery does not refer to one specific type of surgery. It refers to any surgical procedure that treats eye problems involving the retina, macula, and vitreous fluid. These vision disorders include macular degeneration, retinal detachment, and diabetic retinopathy. The retina is a tissue in the inner eye. It converts images that one sees into electric impulses that the brain can interpret. The macula is part of the retina that helps central process vision. Vitreous fluid fills the eyeball and helps it maintain its shape. Vitreoretinal surgery can treat a detached retina, which happens due to a retinal tear. A retina may detach gradually or suddenly. Symptoms of retinal detachment may include flashes of light and spots that obstruct vision. Retinal detachment can occur due to an injury. It may also occur when the vitreous fluid pulls on the retina.
Conditions commonly evaluated and treated by our physicians include retinal tears and detachments, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, ocular trauma, ocular tumors, inflammatory ocular conditions, hereditary retinal diseases and a variety of less common, highly complex disorders. We utilize the most advanced, state-of-the-art techniques to provide the best treatment available today for vision-threatening diseases.
The peripheral retina gives us a vision to the side (peripheral vision). It is this part of the retina that is at work when we see something out of the corner of our eye. Because the peripheral retina is not able to see detail clearly, we cannot use the peripheral vision to read, thread a needle, drive, or even recognize a face. If you see someone off to your side (‘out of the corner of your eye’), you might be able to tell who it is because you recognize the person’s general shape, but you won’t be able to see the expression on the person’s face.
What is the Vitreous?
The vitreous is much like the clear ‘white’ of an egg, and it fills the central cavity of the eye. The vitreous is attached to the retina. It is most strongly attached in the back part of the eye to the optic nerve, the macula, and the large retinal blood vessels.
Why are Retinal or Vitreous Surgery Necessary?
Retinal and vitreous surgery address problems such as Retinal Detachment and Intraocular Infection (see below). Retinal and vitreous problems can cause severe loss of vision or even blindness. In some cases, surgery may be beneficial and – if done at the right time – might prevent severe loss of vision. Most serious retinal problems that require surgery are caused by problems with the vitreous.
What is a Vitrectomy?
Vitrectomy – A vitrectomy may be performed to clear blood and debris from the eye, to remove scar tissue, or to alleviate traction on the retina. The Vitrectomy actually removes vitreous gel from the eye through a small incision using a laser. Vitrectomy allows the retina to flatten. Depending on the severity of the diabetic retinopathy, gas or air might be placed in the eye to replace the vitreous fluid that was removed. This gas or air helps smooth out the retina and prevent retinal detachment.