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Vitrectomy for Floaters
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Vitrectomy for Floaters

Hi all,

I have decided to undergo a vitrectomy for my collagen floaters. Do you have any recommendations on the safest and most effective type of vitrectomy? (e.g. pars plana, sutureless, etc.)

Also, what is the success rate (%) of a vitrectomy? I am a young guy with myopia. Is there anything special I should talk to the eye surgeon about?

Thanks so much for your help!
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14 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
The most effective treatment for harmless floaters is to ignore it. And save your money. Times are hard these days.
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711220_tn?1251894727
Unless it really bothers you I would not recommend vitrectomy.  I have done this for floater only in about 10 eyes out of over 8000 pars plana vitrectomies.

Main serious complications are cataract and retinal detachment.  All retinal detachment can not be fixed.

Dr. O.




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Avatar_n_tn
Is this surgery safer ( as far as retinal detachment) if the patient has already had a pvd several years ago? I have had a terrrible time with this problem (floaters) for over 25 years. The pvd actually improved the situation but they  still slow me down and make everyday things just more diffficult. The people who say just ignore them are not aware how bad this problem can become.
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711220_tn?1251894727
No.  You discuss all the risks with the surgeon.

Dr. O.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for the reply.

What are the risk rates for floater only vitrectomy, and pars plana vitrectomy? Is any particular type "safer"?

Also, what do you mean when you mention that retina detachment cannot be fixed?

Lastly, if an operation is successful, are there any minor changes in vision?

Thank you so much for your assistance!

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Avatar_f_tn
I've been told that the risk factors for retinal detachment are cummulative.  They include vitrectomy (about 5% risk), cataract surgery (which you'll undoubtedly need post-vitrectomy), YAG (which you might need, especially if you're under 60), being highly myopic, and being male.  (I have all these risk factors except the last one.)  My vitrectomy was not for floaters, but I suspect that the risk of RD is intrinsic to the procedure (but not its purpose).  Personally speaking, if floaters were impairing my ability to function and to enjoy life, I'd probably consider a vitrectomy, too.  I don't know the success rate; there have been a couple of posts on this site from unhappy people who developed new floaters post-vitrectomy.  (I didn't experience floaters post vitrectomy.)  You should definitely discuss the probably success rate and the risks with your surgeon.
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Avatar_f_tn
I can't give you an answer for your situation, but I completely understand what you are going through. After refractive lens exchange surgery in 2007, I had a major PVD. The hyaloid membrane and the optic nerve head (Weiss ring) were waving constantly in front of everything I looked at. It was truly intolerable, and anyone who says it is possible to just " tune it out" really doesn't have a clue how exhausting it is to live with something like that. It is a never-ending vision-obstructing blurry wave that can make life miserable! I know! After waiting a year for it to go away on its own, I was finally convinced that it had to go. I had a pars plana vitrectomy. I had no cataract risk because of my previous lensectomy. I developed a bad retina inflammation (CME) that I have been treating for a year with now 15 injections to my eye. My vision has deteriorated from 20/20 to 20/50. But even so, every day I'm glad that the floater is gone. But you have to fully understand the the risks are very real, and you will certainly require a cataract surgery and might as well have it at the same time as the vitrectomy.
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Avatar_f_tn
One more comment:  the vitrectomy instruments used depend on the skills and experience of the surgeon.  However, your recovery will be much quicker and more comfortable if the newer, 25 gauge sutureless instruments are used.  Even under the best of circumstances, the sutures required by the 20 gauge instruments can become very itchy and uncomfortable--and they take a long time to dissolve (seemed like forever to me).  
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Avatar_n_tn
I have tons of floaters due to acute pvd and torn retina, which never clears up. My doc once said ‘there are lots of things floating in there’ (as if I haven’t noticed them yet). But after I saw hundreds of colleagues and coworkers got laid off, floaters have become so trivial.  The risks of surgery clearly outweigh the benefits and if anyone still wants to go thru’ it, that is beyond my comprehension.
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Avatar_n_tn
There is a very good video on the website of the Helen Keller Foundation. To find it, just Google the words" Helen Keller Floaters". The video does not discuss the risks but it does show how it is becoming a more common surgery than in the past. It is now possible for anyone who wishes to have this surgery to have it done.
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Avatar_f_tn
I discovered a great resource for you, which answers most of the questions you asked concerning a vitrectomy for floaters.  The information is posted on the website of Dr. Steve Charles at www charles-retina com.  Dr. Charles is a wonderful retinal surgeon, and I think that you can trust the info he provides.
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Avatar_f_tn
So you know, there are different types of floaters. I too had a multitude of small floaters for years before the "big one". Those little black specks and thread-like things...I agree are minor and don't justify surgery. However, if you ever had what I did, you would feel differently, I promise. If those black specks and threads could be considered gnats or flies, my big floater was an elephant! It would cover about six letters of print when it passed by and completly covered the word I might be looking at, at the time. It was a real obstruction to being able to read. I think it is important that people know this.
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Avatar_n_tn
Sure. We are all long suffering people. Good luck.
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Avatar_m_tn
i too had a vitrectomy by dr morris as i understand you did as well. I had laser in the periphery and 6 months later i still see shimmering in the periphery when changing  light. I am wondering if you experienced the same and how long it took to go away.
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