Skip to main content

The originating document has been archived. We cannot confirm the completeness, accuracy and currency of the content.


Medically reviewed by Last updated on Mar 2, 2022.

What do I need to know about vitrectomy?

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

How do I prepare for surgery?

Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for surgery. He may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. He will tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery.

What will happen during 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.

What are the risks of surgery?

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.

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. 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.

Learn more about Vitrectomy

Treatment options

Further information

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