Modern day vitreoretinal surgeries are all outpatient surgical procedures with minimal pain and discomfort. It is microsurgery because the retina is only 225 microns thick, Vitreoretinal surgeons operate under a high magnification stereomicroscope in order to perform the surgery. The eye is never removed from the orbit. Using a special eyelid device, the eyelid is held open and small microincisions are made to allow safe surgical entry inside the eye to perform the necessary surgery.
Scleral buckle is a procedure that involves placing a silicone band around the middle of the eye. It is an excellent surgery with high success rates in patients with retinal detachments due to retinal tears. The goal of the silicone band is to indent the eye wall and relieve the traction on the retinal tear and close the retinal tear. By treating the retinal tear and relieving the traction, the retina is able to reattach itself. It also offers the advantages of prophylactically treating any additional retinal tears that may arise from future vitreoretinal traction.
Vitrectomy is the procedure in which vitreoretinal surgeons gain access inside the eye and removal the vitreous gel. The vitreous is only necessary during eye development at birth and is not necessary to maintain healthy vision later in life. It is performed by placing three microincisions all less than 1 mm in size on the white of your eye to manipulate instrumentation to operate inside the eye and on the retinal surface. The removal of the vitreous gel does accelerate the aging process of cataract formation and patients often times will need to undergo cataract surgery within a year after vitrectomy. If you already have had cataract surgery, vitrectomy does not affect the artificial lens implant placed inside the eye.