Vitrectomy

What you should know

Vitrectomy is surgery to remove the vitreous gel from the middle of your eye. You may need a vitrectomy if you have retinal detachment or blood in your vitreous gel. You may also need a vitrectomy if your lens is displaced or there is a hole in your macula.

Lateral cut-away of the Right Eye

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

Risks

You may have pain, inflammation, or develop an infection. Your eye may start to bleed. Your vision may not improve for up to 1 year. Your vision or eye pressure may get worse. You may develop a cataract or glaucoma. Your retina may detach again. The hole in your macula could reopen. You may need to have eye surgery again.

Getting Ready

The week before your surgery:

  • Write down the correct date, time, and location of your surgery.

  • Arrange a ride home. Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself home.

  • Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.

  • Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.

  • You may need to see your eye doctor 1 to 4 days before the surgery for an eye exam. You may also need to have a blood test. Talk to your healthcare provider about these or other tests you may need. Write down the date, time, and location for each test.

The night before your surgery:

Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.

The day of your surgery:

  • Ask your caregiver before you take any medicine on the day of your surgery. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital. Caregivers will check that your medicines will not interact poorly with the medicine you need for surgery.

  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.

  • Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.

  • An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell caregivers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.

Treatment

What will happen:

Your surgeon will make one or more small cuts on your sclera. He will cut your vitreous gel and suction it out. Your surgeon may use a laser to stop tiny blood vessels from bleeding. He may attach your retina, remove scar tissue, or repair any holes. He will put saline, gas, or silicone into your eye to replace the vitreous gel and keep your eye pressure stable. He will close the small cuts with tiny stitches that dissolve or medical glue.

After your surgery:

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. You will be monitored closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. Antibiotic ointment may be put on your eye. You will have an eye bandage over your eye. A metal or plastic shield may be placed on top of the bandage. You will then be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room.

Contact a caregiver if

  • You cannot make it to your surgery.

  • You have a fever.

  • You get a cold or the flu.

  • You have questions or concerns about your surgery.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • You have severe eye pain.

  • Your eyesight suddenly gets worse.

  • You see spots or lines in your vision.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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