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Vitreoretinal Diseases and Surgery

What are vitreoretinal diseases?

Vitreoretinal disease refers to the variety of conditions that affect the health of your vitreous or retina. Since both structures lay at the back of the eye, they’re not readily visible. The retina is essentially an extension of the brain that contains millions of light-sensitive nerve endings. It’s made up of rods and cones, in addition to the fovea, which is encapsulated in the macula. The vitreous is a gel-like substance that fills the cavity between the lens and the retina. These structures at the back of the eye can cause debilitating disease and damage, if handled carelessly.

What is vitreoretinal eye surgery?

Vitreoretinal surgery involves treating disorders and conditions deep inside the eye. This group of procedures is performed where the retina and vitreous are found, using lasers or conventional surgical instruments.

What is a vitrectomy?

A vitrectomy refers to the surgical process of removing some, or all, of the vitreous humor from the eye. Its purpose is to remove invasive foreign matter, such as blood due to diabetic vitreous hemorrhage, that causes vision problems. When light enters the eye, the foreign matter casts shadows on the retina that inhibits your vision.

A vitrectomy should only be reserved for necessary cases, and not common ordinary spots and floaters derived from vitreous detachments. The more severe cases include:

  • Diabetic vitreous hemorrhage
  • Retinal detachment
  • Epiretinal membrane
  • Macular hole
  • Proliferative vitreoretinopathy
  • Endophthalmitis
  • Intraocular foreign body removal
  • Retrieval of lens nucleus following complicated cataract surgery


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