Some call it the “last chance-surgery” – and that seems to be true. Due to advances in medicine, the introduction of modern surgical techniques and the latest medical devices, vitrectomy can cure or ward off diseases that several decades ago would lead to vision loss.
Vitrectomy is the pathological changes removal from the vitreous and the retina. Vitreous is a gelatinous substance that fills the posterior (the largest) chamber of the eyeball. A specialist qualifies the patient for vitrectomy when there are no other ways of treating the retina or the vitreous. In cases of retina diseases indications for vitrectomy are macular hole, epiretinal membrane, retinal detachment, retinal vein thrombosis or diabetic retinopathy. The indications for vitrectomy in case of the vitreous disease are hemorrhages or vitreous opacities.
The surgeon performs the procedure using a specialist microscope which allows three precise incisions in the retina. The incisions are small (from half to one millimeter long). Through the incisions the surgeon removes the vitreous and injects other substance to the eye – gas, sterile air, infusion fluid or silicone oil. The type of filling depends on the decision of the surgeon who intraoperatively makes the eye condition assessment. Gases and fluids are absorbed, silicone oil, after some time, needs to be removed or exchanged by a surgeon. Vitrectomy may be accompanied by other surgical procedures – that depends on the ailments which caused the bad eye condition. Vitrectomy is often combined with the replacement of the opaque lens of the eye (that is with the cataract removal) – such procedure is called phaco-vitrectomy.
It is being performed under local anesthesia. The procedure takes about an hour. This is ambulatory surgery – immediately after it the patient may be discharged. The pain may persist for several days after the operation – then conventional over-the-counter pain killers help to relieve it.
During the convalescence period it is recommended to maintain a specific positions – face down; sitting and walking in a slight incline, sleeping on the stomach. For a few weeks the patient should avoid traveling by plane (especially if the eye was filled with gas). At night the patient can occlude the operated eye with a cover – this way one will avoid accidental eye irritation while sleeping. The bathing time should also be limited. The patient may not use sauna – long contact with very hot air is not advisable for the operated eye.
It’s a procedure aimed to correct eye defects. It is done with a laser.
There are contradictions for the treatment if the patient:
is under 21 and over 60 years old, is pregnant or nursing, is treated with steroids, suffers from connective tissue diseases, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, immunodeficiency, allergies, active infections, has a peacemaker, if the vision defect is increasing, suffers from degenerative myopia, non-operated cataract, glaucoma, retina diseases, keratoconus, nystagmus, dry eye syndrome (DES), vascular eye diseases
For four weeks prior to the appointment please do not wear your contact lenses.
The following test will be performed during the appointment:
All the tests are performed during one visit to our hospital. Their cost is included in the general cost of the qualifying appointment (400 zlotys). Note! The qualification takes about 2-3 hours.
After administering anesthetic drops a metal retractor is put on the eyelids. The laser arm is positioned directly above the operated eye. We ask the patient to focus his/her eyes on the light which is on the laser arm. The laser’s operating time is several dozen seconds during which the eye should be kept immobile. The procedure is completely painless.
Both eyes are being operated during one procedure.
After half an hour the patient can be discharged. It is recommended for and adult to accompany the patient. For about 3 hours after the procedure the patient may feel burning and tearing in the operated eye, but he or she should not clench eyelids or rub the eye. After three days the patient reports for a check-up examination (included in the price of the procedure).
For 3 weeks after the procedure the patient should avoid smoke (including the cigarette smoke) and dust. The patient is not allowed to wet the eyes during bating or showering at home or swimming at the pool. The patient is not allowed to use the sauna or the solarium. It is recommended not to carry heavy loads (over 15 kg). The patient should avoid heavy sunshine or when that is not possible wear sunglasses with a UVA filter.
What are the risks of the laser procedure?
The risk of such procedure does not exceed 1%. Most frequent complications are the postoperative infections.
What are the most common side effects of the procedure?
Problems with night vision. Blurred vision of the light points. Weakened contrast view. Hypersensitivity to light. Halos around light sources. The complications occur rarely and most often disappear spontaneously after 6-12 months after the procedure.
Can the vision defect reoccur after the surgery?
In one percent of the patients the vision defect of about 1 diopter reoccurs. Such defect can be corrected after 1 year since the first procedure.
Qualification for surgery – 400 zł
Retina Ophthalmological Outpatient Clinic and Hospital in Warsaw is a modern medical facility with an excellent and experienced team of specialized physicians – including pediatric ophthalmologists. Retina opened in 2004. Since that time we have performed over 10,000 eye surgeries, hundreds of angiographic tests and ultrasounds, and have had over 15,000 patients.
The name of our hospital comes from Greek. Retina is an inner coat of the eyeball responsible for vision. A Patients’ ability to see is the most important for us, ophthalmologists. Knowledge and many years of experience help our team to achieve that goal.
We are unique in our non-standard approach to eye diseases, innovative solutions and patient-friendly approach. Knowledge and experience are not enough and need to be supported by tests, which we perform on the most up-to-date equipment.