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What are Vitreoretinal Diseases?

Vitreoretinal disease, or vitreoretinal surgery, is a subspecialty of ophthalmology that focuses on the surgical care of the back of the eye, or the retina. The retina is the layer of nerve tissue at the rear of the eye that senses light and is responsible for vision. Connected to the retina is a thick, clear gel called vitreous. In order to perform surgery on the retina, the vitreous must sometimes be removed. Doctors who can operate on these incredibly delicate parts of the eye are called vitreoretinal surgeons.

Some of the eye conditions that a vitreoretinal surgeon might treat include:
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Macular degeneration
  • Retinal detachment or tears
  • Macular holes
  • Retinal vein occlusion
  • Retinoblastomas

During vitreoretinal surgery, small incisions are made in the white of the eye, and very tiny instruments are inserted. The surgeon uses a microscope to treat the areas needed deep within the eye. In some procedures, a gas bubble is injected into the eye to apply pressure to the retina and keep it in place while it heals. If this is the case, you may be asked to lie face down for a few days after surgery. Eye drops containing antibiotics and other medications are also commonly prescribed.

Vitreoretinal diseases can be a serious threat to your vision. In many cases, vitreoretinal surgery can ensure you are able to see well into the future.