All about Vitrectomy Surgery

What is Vitrectomy?

Vitrectomy is a surgical procedure that is done to remove and replace either some or all of the vitreous humour (a gel-like, transparent substance that fills the eyeball behind the lens).

This surgical procedure is often done as part of another eye surgery.

Why is a Vitrectomy Surgery done?

It is extremely common to get a vitrectomy surgery done to drain out the vitreous fluid that has become either cloudy or bloody, or is filled with clumps of tissue or floaters.

Additionally, it is done to help the surgeon view the back of the eye while performing operations related to various retinal conditions.

Following are some other common reasons why this surgical procedure is done -

1. Eye Infections
2. Problems Post a Cataract Surgery
3. Internal Bleeding of the Eye
4. Damaged Retinal Tissue / Scar Tissue on the Retina
5. Major Eye Trauma / Injury
6. Vitreous Floaters / Tiny Bits of Tissue in the Vitreous Fluid
7. Detached Retina
8. Injury from a Dislodged / Misplaced / Infected Intraocular Lens (IOL)
9. Trauma / Injury that takes place during Cornea / Cataract / Glaucoma Surgery
10. Macular Degeneration / Macular Hole
11. Diabetic Retinopathy
12. Swelling of the Eye / Central Retinal Tissue

What are the Complications and Risks Related to Vitrectomy Surgery?

Most surgeries are effective. It’s quite rare to have severe complications post a vitrectomy surgery. In these rare cases, people who have a weak immune system and those with a history of eye conditions or any other eye surgeries are more likely to suffer.

Given below are some possible side effects of a vitrectomy surgical procedure -

1. Increased / Reduced Pressure in the Eye
2. Infection
3. Swelling in the Central Part of the Retina
4. Inflammation / Redness, Pain and Swelling
5. Formation of Cataracts / Progression of Existing Cataracts
6. Internal Bleeding of the Eye
7. Vision Change (which includes the need to wear new prescription glasses)
8. Surgical Injury (which includes wrong cut or tear)
9. Loss of: Vision, Night Vision, Blurriness or Depth Perception
10. Retinal Detachment
11. Double Vision
12. Macular Pucker or a Wrinkle in the Retina
13. Dislocation or Discolouration of the Intraocular Lens
14. Allergic Reaction to Anesthesia (including the risk of a stroke, heart attack or pneumonia)

What is the Recovery Process after a Vitrectomy Surgery?

Generally, it takes about 4 to 6 weeks for your eyes to recover after a vitrectomy surgical procedure done.

You will be advised to put a pause on various day-to-day activities like exercise, reading and driving for at least a couple of days after your surgery.

In order for your eyes to heal properly, you will be asked to lay face down for a stipulated period of time. Apart from this, the patient will be prescribed eye drops to avoid the possibility of an eye infection and reduce inflammation.


When it comes to the time taken for recovery, it varies from individual-to-individual because vitrectomy surgical procedures are more commonly done alongside other eye surgeries.