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What are the dangers of macular hole surgery?

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Quick Answer

After macular hole surgery, patients may be more likely to develop cataracts, which is the most common post-surgery danger. Patients may also suffer retinal detachment and infection, but doctors can treat both quickly, the National Eye Institute claims.

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Full Answer

Macular holes are small breaks in the macula, located in the retina. Patients suffer distorted, blurred vision after macular holes develop because the macula is responsible for clear central vision, the National Eye Institute says. Adults older than 60 years of age most commonly develop macular holes. Not all macular holes become severe, but the worst ones can lead to a detached retina, which threatens overall eyesight.

Most patients need to undergo a vitrectomy to correct the macular hole, the National Eye Institute says. Patients need to remain in a face-down position for a few days after the surgery. Cataracts that develop after the vitrectomy may become serious enough for removal. To decrease the risk of developing post-surgery complications, patients should maintain the face-down position for the allotted time and avoid flying for several months.

Patients experience varying degrees of vision improvement after a vitrectomy, the National Eye Institute says. Those who had macular holes for less than six months are more likely to make a strong recovery.

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