One of the most commonly performed eye surgery (aside from cataracts treatment), probably not only here in Singapore but worldwide, is Vitrectomy. This is a type of eye surgery that is done to treat the following eye conditions:
- retinal detachment or tissue damage
- advanced diabetic eye disease
- macular holes (macular pucker),
- complicated cataracts
- severe eye injury
- vitreous haemorrhage
Generally, Vitrectomy is performed to eye conditions that affect the retina, usually referred to the lens of our eyes where light passes through. Damages to the retina pose great threat to our vision. If left untreated, they may cause vision impairments or in worst cases, vision loss. Considering the impact of such these eye conditions, it can be drawn that vitrectomy is a very important surgery in the field of ophthalmology. It is considered a trusted eye surgery that is performed by different eye surgeons around the world. The success rate of this surgery has been constantly high (over 90%) for many conditions. Severe complications are rare.
Dr Claudine Pang, a recognized eye surgeon in Singapore, provides us with insights and recommendations about vitrectomy in Singapore. In this article, we will know how we can prepare ourselves before the procedure, during the procedure, and after the procedure.
Eye diseases that need vitrectomy are common that the likes of famous personalities like Larry King, John Goodman, Dame Judi Dench, and Roseann Barr also went through the surgery and were able to live a normal life after. In fact, you can read an in-depth, technical writeup about the process here.
Before the Procedure
Treatments and surgeries are only given to those who need them. That is why it is important that before we proceed with the treatment or surgery itself, we have been properly diagnosed with the condition/s that the treatment is for.
A good eye doctor will make sure that the series of eye examinations will be done to you to identify the overall condition of your retina and vitreous gel before proceeding to the surgery. This is also the perfect time for you to ask questions directly to your doctor regarding the benefits and risks of the treatment. It is, therefore, very important that you disclose any medical information needed by your doctor to provide an accurate diagnosis and assessment to your condition.
Here is a simple checklist of what needs to be done before a vitrectomy in Singapore takes place:
- Confide all medical-related information to your doctor as this may affect the treatment that will be recommended for you
- Ask as many questions as possible with your doctor to know the risks and expected results of the surgery
- Sign an informed consent (make sure that you read the content of the form before signing)
- Properly schedule the date and time of the surgery (make sure that you have made necessary arrangements for your operation – e.g. someone is accompanying you, you have taken a leave for work)
- Do not eat eight (8) hours before surgery
- Take any prescription medicines for surgery purposes if required
During the Procedure
Vitrectomy in Singapore is an outpatient type of surgery. It means that you don’t need to stay at the clinic or hospital after surgery. That is why it is recommended to have someone accompany you to the clinic during your scheduled operation or at least have someone fetch you one the treatment is done. However, if the need of you to stay and rest at the hospital or clinic arises, your surgeon may require you to do so.
The procedure initially starts with your doctor administering you with local or general anaesthesia. When local anaesthesia is administered, you will be awake but numbed during the surgery. On the other hand, when administered with general anaesthesia, you will be completely unconscious. Your preferred doctor can further discuss these options with you.
Then, your doctor will proceed in creating an incision in the white part the eye (also known as the sclera), then, the vitreous gel will be removed using a small suction tube. Any retinal damage will then be repaired and retina will be put back into place. Gas or silicone will then be injected to the eye to replace the removed fluid and to restore pressure to the eye. Right after surgery, the eye will be patched and shielded to protect it from injury and infections.
The whole surgery process will just take one (1) to (2) hours.
After the Procedure
Post-surgery care is a must for vitrectomy in Singapore. Since the procedure is an outpatient type of surgery, aftercare is usually done at home. Here are some tips on how to care for yourself after bravely going through a vitrectomy:
- Keep your head in face down or at any position that will be recommended by your doctor
- Always wear an eyepatch on the affected eye to protect it from injury and to lessen the probability of getting an infection
- Continue using medicated eye drops as prescribed by your doctor
- Take a rest and time off work
- Contact your doctor for any emergencies
- Be aware of the various other conditions that can arise as a result
- Engage in physical and strenuous activities that may stimulate sweating as this may irritate your eyes
- Allow water to enter your eyes. It is best to avoid head baths in the meantime
- Stay in dusty area that may cause irritation and infection in the eye
- Touch your eye
- Travel by air (most especially if gas is injected in your eye as high altitude will cause the gas bubble to expand and eye pressure becomes riskily high; this may result to blindness)
Dr Claudine Pang
#15-10 The Paragon, 290 Orchard Rd,
+65 6732 0007