Pars Plana Vitrectomy

Pars plana vitrectomy is a surgical procedure that is performed to remove the vitreous gel from the eye, allowing for better access to the retina.

What is Pars Plana Vitrectomy?

Pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) is a surgical procedure that is performed to remove the vitreous gel from the eye, allowing for better access to the retina. As a result, a variety of repairs can be completed and various eye conditions can be treated. Vitreoretinal surgery and laser procedures can be performed to restore and preserve vision for many eye conditions, such as vitreous hemorrhages from diabetic retinopathy, epiretinal membranes, macular holes, and retinal detachments.

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When is Pars Plana Vitrectomy Recommended?

A vitrectomy is usually performed under these circumstances:

  1. If you are experiencing cloudy, hazy vision. If the haziness is caused by a vitreous hemorrhage from bleeding blood vessels within the eye (usually occurring in diabetics), a complete pars plana vitrectomy may resolve the hemorrhage and improve your vision. 
  2. If you have a retinal detachment. Most vitrectomy surgeries are performed to repair retinal detachments by removing the vitreous gel and lasering the detachment. Retinal detachments are more common among the elderly, people who are nearsighted, severe diabetics, severely premature infants, people who have experienced head or eye trauma, and people who have received a YAG laser capsulotomy or complex anterior segment surgery.

What can I Expect During the Procedure?

Before your vitrectomy, Dr. Narain will numb your eye so that you will feel comfortable during the entire procedure. The eye is then prepared with antiseptic solution and Dr. we will apply a sterile drape. Next, an eyelid speculum is used to keep the eye open while the non-operative eye is covered/protected. You will be asked to close your non-operative eye and rest during the surgery.

With your operative eye dilated, surgical instruments will enter through the pars plana, a “safe zone” in the white part of the eye (sclera). A surgical microscope with a special lens will allow Dr. Narain to get a wide, detailed view inside of the eye. A vitrectomy probe will then be used to cut and delicately remove the gel-like vitreous.

Separate openings are used to light the eye and place other surgical instruments that assist in the procedure. These instruments include a light pipe to illuminate the eye, forceps to peel membranes and scar tissue, silicone-tipped drainage needles to remove fluid from the eye, and a laser probe to seal around retinal tears or treat abnormal blood vessels.

At the end of the procedure, Dr. Narain will fill the eye with sterile saline or a vitreous substitute (gas bubble or silicone oil). When vitreous substitutes are used, we recommend that you position your body face-down for a period so that your retina will heal.

Are There Any Complications?

Complications are rare but include bleeding, infection, high or low eye pressure, loss of vision, retinal detachment, and cataracts.

Request an Appointment in San Jose or Gilroy, California

If you are in need of vitrectomy or you have been experiencing vision problems, schedule an appointment at South Bay Retina today. Our own Dr. Narain is an experienced ophthalmologist, retina specialist, and surgeon. Call (408) 294-3534 for our San Jose and Gilroy office. You can also schedule an appointment online, using the button below.

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