The retina is a thin layer of tissue with specialized cells that line the back wall of the eye. It converts the visual image into a neural signal, which is transmitted via the optic nerve to be interpreted by the brain. The macula is the part of the retina that serves to provide central vision that is necessary for reading and driving.
The vitreous is a liquid-gel structure that occupies around 80% volume of the eye. It is located in the back part of the eye between the retina and the front structures of the eye.
Common surgical retinal conditions include macular pucker (epiretinal membranes), macular holes, diabetic eye disease and retinal tears as well retinal detachments. There are other rare and complex vitreoretinal conditions.
At Essendon Eye Clinic our vitreoretinal surgeons are fellowship trained in this highly specialized area. They perform small gauge vitrectomy surgery that usually does not require any stitches. Vitrectomy surgery is the removal of the vitreous fluid from the back of the eye and is combined with other retinal procedures such as membrane peeling to treat epiretinal membranes. Sometimes a gas or air bubble is left in the back of the eye, which is slowly absorbed and replaced by the eyes natural fluids. Other procedures include scleral buckling (band around the eye) to treat certain types of retinal detachments. These procedures are performed in an operating room within a day surgery centre.
Vitreoretinal surgeons also perform in-office procedures such as retinal laser for retinal tears, intravitreal injections and pneumatic retinopexies to treat retinal detachments.