What is a Vitrectomy?

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A vitrectomy is the process of an eye surgeon removing the aqueous humor gel and replacing it in an eye of a patient. Somebody may undergo a vitrectomy because there is blood or debris in the aqueous, or the aqueous clouded or hardened. Another reason you might need a vitrectomy is so the surgeon can access the inside of the eye so he can attach a detached retina; help heal eye injuries, infections, or diseases; help repair broken blood vessels; or help fix a wrinkly retina. Before surgery, the surgeon might want to dilate the patent’s eye. He might numb the eye with a shot or drop with the patient conscious and resting. Sometimes the patient is unconscious. The, after the vitrectomy and whatever else is needed to be done in the eye is done, he fills the eye with salt-water, a gas bubble, or silicone oil. A bubble may be used instead of anything else so it could hold a detached retina in place. After surgery, the patient might have to look down all the time to hold the bubble in place. Slowly but surely, the human body will replace the water or bubble with its own aqueous humor gel. However, if the surgeon used silicone oil instead, he would have to remove it months later. Although the patient might feel satisfactory as soon as one hour after the surgery, full recovery from a vitrectomy may take anywhere from a few days to a few months. A vitrectomy is successful more than 90% of the time.


Neha Pathak, MD, What is a Vitrectomy?, WebMD®, WebMD, LLC. 10/14/2017. Web. 8/28/2018. https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/what-is-vitrectomy

American Society of Retina Specialists, Vitrectomy, ASRS American Society of Retina Specialists, The American Society of Retina Specialists. 2016. Web. 8/27/2019. https://www.asrs.org/patients/retinal-diseases/25/vitrectomy

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