Diabetic Vitrectomy Surgery

Why a surgery is required?
A surgery is required if there is bleeding inside the eye (vitreous hemorrhage) that is not getting absorbed. A tractional retinal detachment, if present near the macula (center of retina) also requires urgent surgical treatment to prevent further visual loss. A vitreous hemorrhage along with tractional retinal detachment, as seen on ultrasound scan, also requires urgent surgery.
 
How is the surgery done?
During the surgery, the gel like structure inside eye, called vitreous, is removed. Any bleeding present is also removed. Any scars or membranes formed by the contracting blood vessels are also removed to settle the tractional detachment. Laser is applied to retina, if not done previously or if inadequate. Lastly the eye is filled with a gas or silicon oil.

The surgery can be done either under a local or a general anesthesia depending on the surgeon and patient preference. All of these surgical techniques are done microscopically. We want to reassure you that your surgeon does not take your eye out of its socket to operate on it. This is simply impossible.
 
How long will it take?
The surgery itself takes around 1½ to 2 hours to complete depending on the conditions and complicating factors inside eye.
 
When would I see after surgery?
It usually takes 1 to 2 months for visual recovery. The vision recovery may continue till 1 year, at the end of which no further improvement is possible.
 
What are possible complications?
As with any surgery, complications can happen both during surgery and after surgery. It includes intraocular hemorrhage, retinal breaks and rarely infection inside eye. If silicon oil is used in repair; it may cause cataract, glaucoma or damage to cornea. If silicon oil is used then it is necessary to have regular reexaminations and removal of oil at the earliest as deemed fit by the vitreo-retinal surgeon.
 
Will this recur again? / Will I need another surgery?
The tractional detachments will usually not recur. However, in some cases, there may be recurrent bleeding (vitreous hemorrhage) which may get absorbed on its own or might require a resurgery.
 
How much vision would I regain?
The amount of vision regained depends on the degree of damage to the retina by diabetic retinopathy. If there is only a vitreous hemorrhage, the visual recovery can be fair. However in cases of tractional retinal detachments only an ambulatory vision may be regained. Ask your surgeon regarding the expected outcome in your case.
 
Why should I get the surgery done if I am not going to get full normal vision back?
Even though you may not get full normal vision, surgery will most probably improve vision from its current level. Even if you don’t get improvement in vision, the surgery is usually effective in preventing further damage to the retina and further vision loss, failing which you may lose all your vision.
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