Vitrectomy is the only acknowledged treatment for macular pucker as of 2015. It is a surgical procedure involving the removal of the vitreous gel and epiretinal membrane that wrinkles the retina, according to Mid Atlantic Retina.
Macular pucker, also known as surface wrinkling retinopathy, is identified by an unusual, thin, cellophane-like bit of membrane that grows on the central exterior part of the retina, says Mid Atlantic Retina. This condition causes blurred and distorted vision, which can only be fixed by surgery.
Vitrectomy involves the removal of vitreous fluid by cutting and suctioning it out using tiny instruments inserted into the affected eye. This process is necessary to have unobstructed access to the retina, states Mid Atlantic Retina. The surgeon then treats the retina with a laser. The procedure involves cutting or removing scar tissue, flattening the detached areas of the retina or repairing holes in the retina. Mild discomfort and redness may be experienced by the patient within a few days after the surgery. The procedure, which usually takes less than one hour, can be accomplished under local or general anesthesia. Patients may experience slight irritation after the surgery. The general benefit of the surgery for patients is an improved visual acuity or decreased distortion. Patients can usually resume with their usual routines within a few days.
Complications after vitrectomy are rare. Nonetheless, cataract progression is rather common among patients months after the surgery, notes Mid Atlantic Retina.