What Is Macular Hole Surgery?


Quick Answer

Macular hole surgery is a surgical procedure, also called vitrectomy, that a surgeon performs on a person with a small break in the macula in order to remove the vitreous gel, according to the National Eye Institute. A bubble that is a mixture of air and gas then replaces the translucent gel.

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A macular hole makes the eyes blur suddenly and distorts vision, reports All About Vision. The standard treatment is to perform surgery on the eye. Surgery removes the vitreous gel so that it does not damage the retina, reports the National Eye Institute. After surgery, the patient must be in a face-down position for a day or two, but it can be as long as two weeks so that the eye can reabsorb the bubble efficiently. This face-down position allows the macular hole to heal as the bubble mixture presses against the macula. As the eye absorbs the bubble, the cavity fills with natural eye fluid.

The biggest risk following macular eye surgery is the rise in the rate of cataract development. This can develop into a significant cataract that may call for its removal, reports the National Eye Institute. There are other risks such as retinal detachment and infection.

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