The retina, which is like film in a camera, has a special area called the macula that is responsible for our best vision-the vision that allows us to read and recognize faces. Sometimes, a physical hole in that tissue develops. As you can imagine, just like taking a picture with a hole in the film, a macular hole can lead to a significant loss of central vision.
The only way to try to repair the hole is to do a surgery called a vitrectomy and to place a gas bubble inside of the eye. The gas works like in inside band-aid over the hole.
Since the macula is in the very back part of the eye and since the gas bubble rises, like the tiny bubbles in soda-pop, the person must put his or her face straight down, looking directly at the ground. This position allows the gas bubble to rise up to the macula, the site of the problem. Often this face-down or prone position must be maintained as much as possible for a period of about 2 weeks.
Nearly everyone expresses concern about the face-down positioning requirement, but, with help and advice, most can do it well.
As with every procedure, there are slightly different ways of doing the surgery. For instance, on occasion oil and not gas is used and the amount of time face-down can vary.
For more information or to schedule an appointment please contact us at 315 464-5252.