What Is Vitrectomy?

Vitrectomy is a type of eye surgery used to treat problems of the eye’s retina and vitreous. In this surgery, an ophthalmologist may:

  • remove blood or other substance keeping light from focusing properly on the retina
  • remove scar tissue that is wrinkling or tearing the retina and causing poor vision
  • help repair a retina that has detached (pulled away) from the eye wall
  • remove a foreign object stuck inside the eye from an injury

During vitrectomy, the ophthalmologist removes some or all of the vitreous from the middle of your eye. This vitreous is replaced with either a salt water (saline) solution or a bubble made of gas or oil.

When Is vitrectomy done?

Your ophthalmologist may recommend a vitrectomy if you have one of these diseases or conditions:

  • diabetic retinopathy, with bleeding or scar tissue affecting the retina or vitreous gel
  • some forms of retinal detachment (when the retina lifts away from the back of the eye)
  • macular hole (a hole or tear in the macula)
  • macular pucker (wrinkles or creases in the macula)
  • an infection in the eye called endophthalmitis
  • severe eye injury
  • certain problems during cataract surgery