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Find out how Circle Health Group can help you with private vitrectomy surgery
If you are experiencing vision problems related to your vitreous, a vitrectomy may be the best course of action for you. This procedure is used to treat a range of eye conditions and our network of experienced eye surgeons near you can help you to decide if it's the best treatment for your personal circumstances.
At Circle Health Group, we'll work with you to ensure that you receive the best possible care throughout your treatment. Our consultants are experienced in performing vitrectomy surgery and will take the time to explain the procedure to you in detail. We understand that every patient's situation is unique, and we will work with you to develop a customised treatment plan that meets your individual needs.
Don't wait any longer to get the help you need. Book a consultation with a specialist of your choice today to learn more about your treatment options and get started on the road to better vision. Call or book online and you could have your initial consultation within 48 hours.
If you're experiencing eye problems that have led to severe vision loss or if you've recently experienced eye trauma, you may be a candidate for a vitrectomy. This surgery can be used to treat a range of conditions that affect the retina, such as retinal detachment, diabetic retinopathy, and macular holes or macular puckers (epiretinal membrane). Vitrectomy specifically targets conditions that affect the vitreous, which is the gel-like substance inside the eye that helps maintain its shape.
A vitrectomy may be recommended for conditions including:
A complication of diabetes that affects the blood vessels in the retina, leading to vision loss.
When the retina pulls away from its normal position, causing vision loss.
A small hole that develops in the macula, causing distorted or blurry vision.
A thin layer of scar tissue that forms on the surface of the retina, causing visual distortion. This is also known as macular pucker.
Bleeding in the vitreous, often caused by injury or diabetic retinopathy.
A serious eye infection has the potential to damage the vitreous and retina.
If you're experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may be a candidate for vitrectomy:
During your consultation, our expert consultant will take the time to talk to you about your symptoms and medical history, as well as any concerns you may have. They will conduct a thorough examination of your eyes and may need to perform additional tests or scans to confirm a diagnosis.
Your first consultation is incredibly important, as it allows us to get a clear understanding of your individual needs and develop a personalised treatment plan that is tailored to you.
Our team will always take the time to explain all of your options in detail, including the potential benefits and risks of a vitrectomy, and answer any questions you may have. We want you to feel confident and informed about your treatment choices, so that you can make the decision that is best for you.
If a vitrectomy is the right choice for you, our consultant will discuss the procedure itself in detail, so that you know exactly what to expect. We are committed to providing a compassionate and supportive environment for all of our patients, and we will be with you every step of the way.
To book your initial consultation with one of our experienced consultants for private vitrectomy surgery, please contact us today.
Your consultant will tell you everything you need to do to prepare for your surgery. If there's anything you're not sure about, or if you have any questions about how to prepare for your surgery, speak to your consultant or call the hospital for advice. Being well-prepared for your surgery will help to ease any anxiety you may have as well as allow your surgery and recovery to go more smoothly.
Before your surgery, tell your consultant about any medical conditions or allergies you have and any medication, including over-the-counter medicines you are taking.
Your consultant may tell you to stop taking some medications like blood thinners before your operation. This is to reduce the risk of bleeding during and after your surgery.
You may not be able to eat or drink for several hours before your surgery. Check with your healthcare team when you can eat and drink before your vitrectomy.
Being in optimal health before your surgery can reduce the risk of complications and speed up your recovery.
To make sure you are as healthy as possible before your surgery:
During vitrectomy surgery, your consultant makes three tiny incisions (cuts) into your eye and removes the jelly-like substance (vitreous gel) from the middle of your eye. Your consultant will then peel away the epiretinal membrane. The vitreous gel is replaced with salty fluid and the incisions are closed using dissolvable stitches. An eye pad or shield is placed over the eye to protect it.
In some cases, other conditions may be identified during your surgery, in which case additional treatments like laser surgery or freezing treatment (cryotherapy) may be performed at the same time as your vitrectomy. This reduces the risk of post-operative complications such as retinal detachment.
Occasionally your consultant may place a gas bubble in your eye to support your retina as your eye heals.
A vitrectomy normally takes around one hour.
After your surgery, you will have an eye shield over your eye. This needs to remain in place until the following day when it will be removed at your follow-up appointment.
You may have mild pain or discomfort for a few days after your vitrectomy. Take over-the-counter painkillers like paracetamol and ibuprofen if you need to. You will be given eye drops to use for up to six weeks while your eye heals. Your healthcare team will tell you how to use your eye drops correctly.
You should avoid heavy lifting for at least the first week after your surgery. Avoid getting soap or shampoo in your eye for the first four weeks and avoid swimming for twelve weeks after surgery.
If you had a gas bubble inserted into your eye, your vision will remain blurred for several weeks or months after your surgery. The gas bubble will slowly be absorbed by your body and your vision will return to normal. This can take up to three months.
If you have a gas bubble in your eye, you must not fly until it has been fully absorbed by your body. Your consultant will tell you when it is safe for you to fly at one of your follow-up appointments.
You must not lie flat until the gas bubble has been absorbed. Your consultant may give you instructions on how to position your head to allow the gas bubble to work properly and prevent increased pressure inside your eye.
Vitrectomy surgery is normally done as a day case, meaning you'll be able to go home the same day.
You will not be able to drive yourself home from the hospital after your vitrectomy. Please make arrangements for someone to collect you, or we can organise a taxi if you prefer.
How soon you can go back to work after your vitrectomy depends on your individual progress during your recovery and the type of job you do. Most people return to work between one and four weeks after vitrectomy surgery.
You should not drive until you have no blurred or double vision and meet the minimum legal standard of vision. Check with your consultant and inform your insurance company before driving after your vitrectomy.
Recovering from any type of surgery is different for everyone. You can help your recovery to go more smoothly by going at your own pace during your recovery, following your consultant's instructions carefully and attending all your follow-up appointments.
Most people can resume normal daily activities within a few weeks of vitrectomy surgery. Your vision may take several months to a year to be fully restored after your vitrectomy.
As with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection. To minimise this risk, your surgeon will take great care to ensure that all surgical instruments are properly sterilised, and you will be given antibiotics to help prevent infection.
There is a risk of bleeding during and after the procedure, though it is not common. In some cases, this may require a blood transfusion.
There is a risk of retinal detachment following a vitrectomy. This is because the vitreous gel, which helps to support the retina, is removed during the procedure. Your surgeon will take steps to reduce this risk, such as using gas or silicone oil to fill the eye and provide support for the retina.
There is a risk of developing cataracts following a vitrectomy, particularly in patients who have had the procedure at a younger age. This is because the removal of the vitreous gel can cause changes in the eye that may lead to the development of cataracts. If you do develop cataracts, they can be easily treated with cataract surgery.
In rare cases, a vitrectomy may lead to vision loss. This is typically due to a complication during the procedure or the development of another eye condition.
It's important to note that while these risks are possible, they are relatively rare. Your surgeon will explain all of the risks and potential complications associated with a vitrectomy in detail before the procedure so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not it's the right option for you.
After a vitrectomy, it's important to avoid strenuous activities, heavy lifting, and bending over for at least a few weeks. You should also avoid rubbing your eye, swimming, or exposing your eye to dust or dirt.
It can take several weeks or months for your vision to fully recover after a vitrectomy. Some patients may experience improvements in vision soon after the procedure, while others may take longer to recover.
Your surgeon may ask you to maintain a certain position, such as facing downward, for a period of time after a vitrectomy. This helps to ensure that the gas bubble, which is used to hold the retina in place, stays in the correct position. If you don't follow these instructions, the gas bubble may move, and the surgery may not be effective.
It is possible to develop floaters after a vitrectomy. However, this is a rare occurrence, and most patients experience a reduction in floaters after the procedure.
You should avoid strenuous activities and exercise for several weeks after a vitrectomy to allow your eye to heal properly. Your surgeon will provide specific instructions on when it's safe to resume physical activity.
Vitrectomy is a major surgical procedure that involves removing the vitreous gel from the eye. It is typically performed under local or general anaesthesia and requires a period of recovery.
An anterior vitrectomy is a surgical procedure that involves removing the vitreous gel from the front of the eye. It is typically performed to treat certain conditions, such as vitreous haemorrhage or dislocated lens fragments.
In some cases, a second vitrectomy may be necessary if the initial surgery was not successful or if a new condition develops. However, multiple vitrectomies can increase the risk of complications and should only be performed if absolutely necessary.
If you would like to learn more about a vitrectomy, book your appointment online today or call a member of our team directly.
Content reviewed by Circle in-house team in April 2023. Next review due April 2026.