Vitrectomy Surgery

For several decades now, retina surgeons have had the ability to remove the vitreous or the gel-like substance in the back of the eye. There are many reasons to remove the vitreous and this procedure can be combined with many other eye procedures, depending on the circumstances.

The vitrectomy surgery is based on a fascinating part of the eye called the pars plana or a special flat area that rings the inside of the eye. This area does not have any vital structures and is just wide enough to put very tiny instruments through.

In the typical surgery, the conjunctiva, or fleshy part of the eye that joins the eyeball to the eyelid is opened. Then a so called three port set up is placed through the pars plana: the first port is usually an infusion line that puts a special fluid into the eye, the second port is the vitrector or special cutting instrument that removes vitreous from the eye, and the third port is a light pipe that allows the surgeon to see.

The vitrector instrument pulls tiny pieces of vitreous and then cuts them off, removing them from the eye. The reason that the vitreous is not removed in one lump is that it is often attached to the retina and so trying to remove the vitreous all together could cause retina tears or a retinal detachment.

Often other very tiny instruments are used through the ports in the eye. At the end, the ports and the conjunctiva are sewn closed.

Recently, Dr. Andrews performed the first sutureless vitrectomy surgery in all of Brooklyn. In this system, special tubes or canulas are placed through the pars plana area and special instruments including a vitrector are placed through the tubes. Once the surgery is done, the tubes are removed. No stitches are needed. The eye can look from the outside like no surgery was performed.

For more information or to schedule an appointment please contact us at 315 464-5252.