What Can a Vitrectomy Treat?
Ophthalmologists at GW Eye Associates offer a comprehensive range of procedures to treat eye diseases, restore vision, and preserve ocular health. Among the procedures offered at our eye care center, which serves La Jolla, CA, Carmel Valley, CA, and San Diego, CA, is a vitrectomy.
A vitrectomy clears the vitreous (the gel-like fluid that fills the space between the lens and the retina) to address bleeding, clouding, or scarring that compromises the vision. A vitrectomy is a safe procedure that can effectively treat ocular problems. Here, we discuss the conditions a vitrectomy can treat and go over the benefits of the procedure.
What Happens During a Vitrectomy?
Before discussing the conditions that a vitrectomy treats, let us provide a brief overview of the procedure. A vitrectomy can be performed surgically or with lasers. During the procedure, the eye is numbed and small instruments are used to access the vitreous. Instruments or lasers remove damaged or problematic tissues from the vitreous gel. After removing damaged tissues, doctors fill the eye with a bubble of gas, air, or saline solution. The procedure clears the vitreous gel to restore vision and holds the retina in place against the back of the eye.
Conditions Treated by a Vitrectomy
A vitrectomy is an effective treatment for several eye conditions. Most frequently, a vitrectomy is performed as part of the treatment plan for diabetic retinopathy or to repair a retinal tear or retinal detachment.
Diabetic retinopathy is a risk factor of diabetes. The condition, caused by poorly controlled blood sugar levels, is characterized by the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the retina. Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include flashes and floaters, blurry vision, and difficulty perceiving colors. A vitrectomy clears the vitreous, allowing our doctors to find and repair sources of bleeding in the retina.
Retinal Tear or Detachment
Retinal tears are small holes or separations that pull on the retina, forcing parts of the retina out of its intended position. Retinal detachment refers to situations where the retina has completely pulled away from the back of the eye. Symptoms of retinal tears or detachment may include flashes and floaters or the appearance of a dark shadow along the sides or in the middle of the field of vision. During a vitrectomy, our doctors replace damaged vitreous fluid, repair any holes or detachments, and fill the vitreous so it holds the retina in its proper position.
Benefits of a Vitrectomy
Patients are often hesitant to undergo surgical treatment, but a vitrectomy offers our patients several benefits, including:
- Effective treatment of damaging eye conditions
- Pain-free treatment
- High rate of treatment success
- Minimal risk of complications
- Improved vision
- Prevention of more advanced eye problems or further vision loss
- Advanced surgical techniques that allow for reduced recovery time
Contact GW Eye Associates
If you have been diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy or a retinal tear or detachment, a vitrectomy may be the ideal solution to restore ocular health and enhance vision. If you are interested in learning more about a vitrectomy and whether you could benefit from the procedure, or any of our other procedures, call (858) 454-4699 or contact our practice online and schedule an appointment at GW Eye Associates.