What is a typical procedure like?
A typical pars plana vitrectomy is a day procedure after which you will be able to go home. You will need to arrive at the hospital 90 minutes before the procedure to be prepared for theatre.
Preparation involves instilling drops in the eye to numb the eye, dilate the pupil and sterilise the surface of the eye. When you arrive in theatre, an anaesthetist will either give you sedation or a general anaesthetic depending on you and your doctor’s discussion prior to surgery.
If you have chosen to have your surgery under sedation, you will be able to talk to your doctor, and he will be able to talk to you. On top of the sedation, you will be given local anaesthesia that will allow you to feel only touch but stops you from feeling any pain during the procedure.
During the procedure, Dr Van der Merwe will remove the gel and blood on the inside of your eye. If necessary, this is followed by removing scar tissue from the surface of the retina before applying a laser to treat the blood vessels causing bleeding in your eye. At the end of the procedure, Dr Van der Merwe will either put a bubble of gas or an oil bubble in the eye to stabilise your retina. If necessary, very small stitches that absorb on their own may be placed to seal the wounds. Dr van der Merwe may give you some instructions on how to position in a way to best support your retina. Before leaving theatre, a patch and shield will be placed on your eye. Once your procedure is finished, you will go back to the ward and will be ready for discharge. The first day after your surgery, you will come and see Dr van der Merwe, where he will remove the patch and shield and give you all the necessary information regarding your postoperative care.
“Vision looks upward and becomes faith”
- Stephen Samuel Wise