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Frequently Asked Questions



Below are some of the most frequently asked questions by patients about retinal diseases and treatments. If you have any other questions, or if you would like to schedule an appointment, please contact our office today.

The macula is the center of the retina.  It is a small area where you have your best vision.  The macula can allow you to read, recognize people, watch TV, and is necessary for most visual function.  The rest of the retina has only poor vision allowing you to see movement in your peripheral vision.  The center of the macula is the most sensitive part and is referred to as the fovea.

The retina is brain tissue located in the back of your eye.  Your eye functions by focusing light on the retina where it is converted into a signal and transmitted to the rest of the brain, so you can see.  The retina is extremely delicate and, unfortunately, does not heal well when damaged.  That is why it is so important to detect retinal problems early and seek help immediately.

A scleral buckle is a band of silicon placed around the outside of the eye.  It is used to repair a retinal detachment by pushing the retina and relieving the traction from the vitreous.  The buckle is not visible after surgery and usually is left in place permanently.  It can be combined with a vitrectomy.

The vitreous is a gel that fills the space between your lens and your retina.  It is composed of 99% water and 1% protein.  It helps the eye form before you are born.  You do not need your vitreous.  If it is removed by vitrectomy surgery, your body will make a salt water solution (aqueous) that replaces it.

Pars Plana Vitrectomy, or vitrectomy, is a surgical procedure in which the vitreous gel is removed from the eye.  This is done as part of a larger procedure for several purposes including: retinal detachment repair, removal of epiretinal membranes, clearing vitreous hemorrhage, repair of macular holes, removal of subluxed lens or lens material after cataract surgery, removal of foreign body, removal of floater, etc.  After vitrectomy surgery, your surgeon may replace the vitreous with salt water, gas, or silicon oil.  You do not need the vitreous, and your body will naturally make salt water to replace the water or gas that your surgeon puts in.  If gas is used, it will slowly (over 2 weeks or 2 months depending on which gas is used) dissolve into your blood.  If silicon oil is used, patients usually need to maintain a strict head position after surgery.  When saline is used, positioning is usually not needed. cross-platform integration.