The vitreous body is an organ of the eye i.e. a gel-like substance that fills the eyeballs. The vitreous body is rather large and fills almost two-thirds of the eye. Under certain circumstances and in case of some eye conditions the vitreous body of the eye must be surgically removed. This surgery is medically known as vitrectomy.
For instance, vitrectomy is performed in people with scar tissue on the retina or those who deal with debris or blood inside the eye. The vitreous body also needs to be surgically removed if it pulls the retina and initiates retinal detachment. Complicated diabetic retinopathy, macular hole, pre-retinal membrane fibrosis, bleeding inside the eye, injury to the eye, some infections and complications of eye surgeries are several more indications for vitrectomy.
How is Vitrectomy Performed?
In order to reach the vitreous body, surgeon must firstly make an incision on the sclera. The procedure requires several instruments with which the doctor manipulates inside the eye, removes the vitreous body and spares other tissues from damage.
In some cases apart from vitrectomy a surgeon may additionally perform some procedures such as repair of retinal detachment, macular hole surgery etc.
Once the organ is removed, there is an empty space left in the eye which needs to be filled. This is achieved with a gas bubble or silicone oil. The filling is required if there is retinal detachment or some kind of additional damage to the retina which may lead to moving of superficial layers of the retina away from the rest of the organ.
Postoperative Care and Recovery
After vitrectomy the operated eye is covered with a patch. The patch is removed during the following visit and check-up. Once the eye is open again, patients are advised and prescribed to use certain eye drops (both antibiotic and anti-inflammatory).
It is normal to feel slight discomfort a day or a few after vitrectomy. Swelling of the eyelid and scratchy sensation are two more problems patients frequently deal with. All the mentioned soon subsides and can be easily brought under control with ice compresses and over-the-counter pain killers.
The recovery after vitrectomy is individual and generally is longer if there have been additional surgeries (e.g. repair of retinal detachment).
All patients are advised to wear plastic eye shield while sleeping for at least 7 days after the surgery. All the strenuous activities such as bending, stooping or even lifting heavy objects are strictly forbidden.
Finally, by following doctor's instructions the healing will be complete and one may successfully avoid potential complications.