Certain retinal conditions may benefit from a surgery called vitrectomy.
This surgery consists of removing all or part of the vitreous, which is a jelly-like substance that exists in the eye, shaping it. The vitreous is not essential for your vision and can, therefore, be removed surgically without causing any issues.
This surgery is done in an operating theatre with the help of a microscope while the patient is lying down. It can be done under local or general anaesthesia. Usually, the patient does not require to be hospitalised to undergo this procedure, except when the doctors advise it.
The procedure: a physiologic fluid is injected while the vitreous is removed in order to keep the intra-ocular pressure stable. Once the vitreous is removed, the surgeon can work on the cause of your eye condition.
At the end of the surgery, the eye can be filled up with this physiologic fluid mentioned before or with air, gas or silicon oil. The presence of gas in the eye is a formal restriction for taking a flight or for going to high altitudes (over 1000 meters). However, the gas is reabsorbed within a few weeks.
The silicon oil does not expand with altitude, but on the other hand it needs a second surgery to be removed.
This procedure needs a post-op review quite soon after it has taken place due to the likelihood of great variation of the intra-ocular pressure.
In the long term, if the cataract has not been already removed, its formation is accelerated by the vitrectomy.
This intervention is practised is our Clinic and our collaborators will be able to advise you beforehand in case a vitrectomy is an option for your condition.