Vitreoretinal surgery has advanced significantly over the past 15 years due to innovations in equipment, laser technology, fiberoptics and the introduction of vitreous substitutes such as purified silicone oil and perflourocarbon gases. These tools have enabled the vitreoretinal surgeon to improve visual function in a variety of diseases.
The current retinal and vitreous treatments have resulted in improved management of postoperative infections following cataract and glaucoma surgery. Removal of retained intraocular foreign bodies has been improved as well as management of complicated cataracts, dislocated intraocular lenses and dislocated cataract material into the vitreous cavity. Diagnostic vitrectomy has improved diagnosis of rare intraocular tumors. The surgical management of proliferative diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema and vascular occlusive disease has improved the visual function of many patients who were once deemed inoperable and destined to blindness.
The surgical management of macular abnormalities such as full thickness macular holes, macular epiretinal membranes, and selected forms of macular degeneration are now possible. Many of these conditions may be treated with small-gauge or “suture-less” surgery.
The availability of intravitreal injections, argon, krypton, and dye laser technology has resulted in effective control of diabetic retinopathy, vascular occlusive diseases and the complications of premature birth. The treatment of retinal tears with laser and cryo provided an effective treatment for the prevention of retinal detachment.