Q:

What is a gas bubble used for in the vitrectomy process?

A:

Quick Answer

A gas bubble is used at the end of the vitrectomy process to press the retina into place for healing, explains WebMD. A silicone oil bubble may also be used for the same purpose, but this option requires a second surgery to remove the oil because the body cannot absorb it. The gas bubble tends to move around more than the oil bubble, however, and requires more care be taken in positioning the head for optimum healing.

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Full Answer

Vitrectomy is a procedure to remove the vitreous gel from the eye so that doctors can access the retina or because there is blood in the vitreous gel that is not going away on its own, says WebMD. Doctors access the retina this way to treat large retinal tears, repair traction retinal detachment, remove scar tissue or treat a proliferation of blood vessels through the retina. Removing bloody vitreous gel can cause great improvements in vision very soon after surgery, if this is the reason.

The vitreous gel sits in the middle of the eyeball, and doctors access it through small instruments inserted into the eyeball, explains WebMD. Doctors cut into the gel and then use suction to remove it. The surgeons then use lasers or other tools to perform the procedures required.

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