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Vitrectomy for Macular Oedema

Vitrectomy Surgery for Macular Oedema

Vitrectomy is commonly performed for macular oedema when the macula is thickened because of epiretinal membrane (ERM). It is not so commonly done for macular oedema unless due to vitreomacular traction syndromes or taut posterior hyaloid face (TPHF) syndrome, which is usually associated with diabetic retinopathy.

Can Macular Edema Be Treated Or Cured?

While it’s possible for macular edema to be treated, the condition can sometimes get better on its own. In most situations, treatment results in faster improvement and better vision in the long run. Recently, vitrectomy has been used to treat macular oedema in diabetics without TPHF and macular oedema due to branch retinal vein occlusion. In all cases, the surgery is only performed if there is no posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) because the theory is that the surgery works by relieving traction (pulling) by the vitreous on the macula and increasing the amount of oxygen that diffuses onto the surface of the macula. The technique is exactly the same as that used in vitrectomy for epiretinal membrane, with the optional extra of lifting the retinal arteriole off the vein in branch retinal vein occlusion.

Is Macular Edema Painful?

No, macular edema is usually not a painful condition, however it can cause a number of symptoms due to the leaking of the blood vessels in the eye. These symptoms can range from experiencing blurred central vision through to seeing washed out colours. Despite being painless, it’s important for the condition to be treated as soon as possible due to the risk of vision loss.

Can Macular Edema Resolve Itself?

While in some cases macular edema can resolve itself, early treatment is typically recommended to increase the chances of a better visual outcome.