Vitrectomy surgery is a procedure performed by our retina surgeons in the operating room, typically as an outpatient. It involves removing the vitreous gel that fills the eye in order to repair a retinal detachment with laser or cryotherapy, treat a macular hole, or remove scar tissue. A gas bubble or silicone oil bubble is then placed in the eye in order to keep the retina flat until the eye heals. If gas is used, the eye will refill itself with clear fluid as the gas bubble reabsorbs over the course of a few weeks. If silicone oil is used, it may need to be removed surgically from the eye once the retina is stable.
Your Retina Consultants of Houston surgeon will perform your surgery in an operating room at an ambulatory surgery center or hospital. We will use an IV, EKG, blood pressure, and oxygen sensors to monitor your vital signs and health during the surgery. Your eye is numbed with drops to keep you comfortable. Sometimes IV sedation or general anesthesia is also used, depending on your specific condition.
Once anesthetized, your eye is then prepped with an antiseptic solution, and a sterile drape is placed over it. We will use an eyelid speculum to keep your eye open throughout the procedure. Your other eye is covered, and you are encouraged to close it and rest until the surgery is complete.
Your retina surgeon will use tiny instruments inside the eye to remove the vitreous gel, reattach the retina if needed, and seal off retinal tears and holes with laser or cryotherapy. Once the surgery is complete, the eye will be patched and shielded to protect it.
Once you have had a vitrectomy, you will be discharged to go home with specific aftercare instructions. Maintaining proper head and eye positioning after a vitrectomy is especially important to ensure the gas bubble or silicon oil is placing the necessary pressure on the retina to achieve optimal healing. This may involve sleeping in a special upright chair which can be rented. Our staff will go over all of this with you prior to your vitrectomy.