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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


Before your surgery:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
  • Antibiotic eye drops may be used before your surgery to help prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
  • Anesthesia is medicine to make you comfortable during the surgery. Healthcare providers will work with you to decide which anesthesia is best for you.
    • General anesthesia will keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Anesthesia may be given through your IV. You may instead breathe it in through a mask or a tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.
    • Local anesthesia is a shot of medicine put into your eye. It is used to numb the area and dull the pain. You may still feel pressure or pushing during surgery. You will also be given medicine to keep you calm and relaxed.

During your surgery:

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.

  • Pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.
  • Antibiotics help prevent infection caused by bacteria.


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.


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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Vitrectomy (Inpatient Care)

Associated drugs

Micromedex® Care Notes