What is Vitrectomy Surgery?

Dr. Amit Gupta, MD, FACS, Ophthalmologist, discusses what vitrectomy surgery is and who it is typically reserved for.

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Dr. Amit Gupta, MD, FACS, Ophthalmologist, discusses what vitrectomy surgery is and who it is typically reserved for.
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Featuring Amit Gupta, MD, FACS, Ophthalmologist

Duration: 2 minutes, 11 seconds

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.

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.

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

Local Practitioners: Ophthalmologist

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What is Vitrectomy Surgery?

Questions
 
True
False
1

Vitrectomy surgery for people with diabetic retinopathy is done in most cases.

Explanation:

Vitrectomy surgery for people with diabetic retinopathy is done only in the most extreme cases. If someone with diabetes has blood in the eye or extra growth of blood vessels, vitrectomy surgery may be recommended.

2

Vitrectomy involves removing vitreous gel from the eye.

Explanation:

Vitrectomy involves removing vitreous gel from the eye. By removing this jelly-like fluid, it can reduce pressure on the retina.

3

If you have a gas bubble in the eye after vitrectomy, you can't travel by air.

Explanation:

After vitrectomy, there may be a gas bubble inside the eye. In that case, you are not allowed to travel by air until the bubble is gone, which can take a few weeks up to two months.

4

Diabetic retinopathy is caused by damage to the small blood vessels located in the macula.

Explanation:

Diabetic retinopathy is caused by damage to the small blood vessels located in the retina. The damaged blood vessels can lead to vision problems and vision loss.

5

The vitrectomy procedures involves making four needle-sized incisions in the eye.

Explanation:

The vitrectomy procedures involves making three needle-sized incisions in the eye, through which the surgeon operates using a microscope.

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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