New Study Looks at Efficacy of Vitrectomy

ophthalmologist examining senior woman's eyeA new study from the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in Birmingham, AL, is now looking at just how effective vitrectomy is when paired with ERM peeling. That study found that the surgery and treatment were beneficial together, echoing the results of previous research showing that 70% of 237 patients saw improvement in their vision following the procedure.

The study’s authors also found that contract sensitivity in those treated had improved. However, they found a lack of research done with those with dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and called into question how or if a vitrectomy could help those with underlying AMD.

For the study, the researchers used 17 eyes with a diagnosed case of dry AMD and performed a vitrectomy on them. The study was HIPAA-compliant and was approved by the Institutional Review Board at University of Alabama at Birmingham. Researchers analyzed the results considering sex, age, left versus right eyes, any pre-existing conditions, what type of issue the eye originally had, and multiple results from the procedures.

The research found that at their most recent checkup, 59% of the patients they operated on saw improved vision, and many saw similar results to the original study the researchers had called into question.

Vitrectomy surgery is becoming a more widely used procedure for retinal detachments. It is done by creating a small incision, reattaching the retina, and in many cases, injecting a small ball of gas into the eye to ensure that things stay where they need to for recovery.

During recovery, a patient is forced to use specific vitrectomy surgery recovery equipment. This is because for up to a week after the surgery, patients must maintain a face down position for at least 50 minutes of every hour. This ensures everything heals the correct way. Luckily, recovery equipment is relatively easy to find.

“The long-term success of vitrectomy surgery is well documented in multiple clinical studies and has been a treatment of choice for many eye problems,” says Steve Fried, Biomedical Engineer and Inventor, Tranquil Touch, LLC. “Expanded application of vitrectomy surgery, as reviewed in this landmark clinical article, will offer relief to many more patients.”

Currently, the Cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis industry is seeing restrictions because many doctors see issues with vitrectomy surgeries. This study will likely be added to the positives for vitrectomies. CMV is a viral inflammation in the retina, found in those with weakened immune systems due to bone marrow transplants, HIV, AIDS, organ transplants, drugs that suppress the immune system, and chemotherapy.