The retina and vitreous humour are elements of our vision that can wear out over time or due to multiple external factors. To treat some of the related problems, the patient is likely to have a vitrectomy. But what does this surgery really consist of? 

Vitrectomy is a technique that began to develop in the 70s of the last centuries. An intervention that was a revolution in the world of ophthalmology, as it allowed the specialist something that until now was unthinkable: operate the retina from inside the eye. 

What is vitrectomy? 

The main objective of vitrectomy surgery is to remove the vitreous, a transparent gel that fills the eye socket. During the intervention, the surgeon performs on the patient three micro incisions of less than 1 millimetre in the outer wall of the eyeball. From these microincisions is how it reaches the vitreous cavity to perform a vitrectomy. 

This surgery is performed under local anaesthesia, and its duration will depend on the degree of pathology the patient has. Usually, it does not often extend beyond two hours, although everything will depend as we say of other parallel disorders that may suffer. 

The primary purpose of vitrectomy is to extract the vitreous humour. Especially when there has been a vitreous haemorrhage that will probably impede the patient’s correct vision. These types of haemorrhages are frequent in pathologies of the kind of diabetic retinopathy or retinal venous thrombosis. 

However, there are other disorders for whose solution one should go to a vitrectomy. Vitrectomy is essential to perform when the vitreous loses its transparency. Something that can happen mainly as a result of an illness. However, there are cases of vitrectomy in which the vitreous has no problems, but it is necessary to remove it to reach the retina and treat the disorders that it may suffer. 

Gas vitrectomy 

If gas is introduced, the patient should maintain a posture strictly upside down or on the side days after surgery to keep the retina glued while it heals. Besides, vision takes a few days or weeks to recover (it is recommended not to travel by plane). 

Vitrectomy with silicone oil 

For its part, silicone oil is not reabsorbed, so a second surgery must be performed to remove the surgery (if you can travel by plane). In addition, during the vitrectomy intervention, other parallel procedures such as cataract surgery, an intraocular lens implant or a cornea transplant can be performed. 

Complications derived from vitrectomy 

As we have been commenting, vitrectomy is responsible for eliminating the vitreous humour of the eye. The main consequence of this is that all vitrectomy operated patients develop cataracts in the operated eye within a period that can range from 1 to 5 years. 

In short, vitrectomy is a surgical intervention that will significantly improve the patient’s vision. A process by which the material that accumulates in the vitreous and acts directly on the retina is removed to restore the damage that may occur.

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