Vitreoretinal surgery refers to any operation to treat eye problems involving the retina, macula, and vitreous fluid. These include retinal detachment, macular hole, epiretinal membrane, and complications related to diabetic retinopathy.
We perform the full range of vitreoretinal surgeries:
New floaters in your vision or flashes of light should lead you to seek help urgently – please give us a call to arrange to see one of our experts in our emergency access appointments. These symptoms may indicate the vitreous (jelly-like substance inside the eye) coming away from the retina (the light-sensitive film that allows you to see). In most people, this separation will happen without incident, but a few people out of every hundred that experience these symptoms will have a tear in the retina. Urgent treatment at this stage can prevent a retinal detachment.
Most people get used to their floaters and don’t notice them any more after about 3 months. However, If the retina is secure and you have persistent floaters in your vision that are troubling your everyday activities these can sometimes be removed by surgery. If you would like to find out more about this option, please do come and see us, we will give you an expert opinion whether this might be an option for you.
An epiretinal membrane forms when a thin layer of scar tissue forms over the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive layer of the eye which works in the same way that a film in a camera works. The macula is the most sensitive part of the retina, and when a membrane forms over this part of the retina it can cause reduced or distorted vision.
Epiretinal membranes most commonly form spontaneously as we get older, and quite common (roughly 8% of people in their older years). The diagnosis is confirmed by clinical examination and an OCT scan. With this information, we can discuss prognosis and management options.
If the membrane affects the vision, you may be offered a vitrectomy, which is an operation to remove the jelly-like substance in the eye, which provides access for your surgeon to remove the membrane.
Our surgeons will discuss the benefits of the operation and the risks with you, allowing you to make the best choice for your eyesight.
Macular holes most commonly develop spontaneously, when a hole develops in the most sensitive part of the retina (the retina is the light-sensitive part of the eye that allows you to see). A macular hole will reduce the sight in the centre of your vision, meaning you cannot see fine detail or read clearly, and you may have a missing patch in the middle of your vision, or lines might look wavy.
Unfortunately it is quite rare for these holes to close spontaneously, but surgery, called a vitrectomy, can close the hole and improve your vision. If the hole has been there less than a year, about 90% will be closed with surgery.
We know that visual improvement happens more often in holes closed sooner after they appear, so we suggest booking an appointment as soon as you notice symptoms, or are told you have a hole by an optometrist. Despite the best treatments, and increased vision after the surgery, it is important to know that the vision never returns to exactly how it was before you had the hole.
Book an appointment to see one of our expert surgeons to discuss the best option for your eye.