The eye is made up of many complex parts, all of which are indispensable to its function and yet individually vulnerable to disease and defect. The posterior portion of the eye comprises of the Retina (a membrane like structure that processes visual inputs and transmits it as an electrical impulse to the brain), Macula (a highly sensitive spot on the retina that processes central vision) and the Vitreous Humor (a gel-like medium that maintains the turgidity of the ocular structures). Vitreo-Retinal Surgery is thus a sub-specialization of Ophthalmology that deals with diseases of Retina and Vitreous Tissue.
Some of these are listed as follows:
• Retinal Detachment
• Diabetic Retinopathy
• Retinal Vein Occlusion
• Vitreous Hemorrhage, Trauma
• Intraocular Foreign Bodies
• Dropped Nucleus (a complication of cataract surgery)
• Endophthalmitis (infection inside the eyeball)
• Macular Degeneration
Investigative techniques that are used in the diagnosis of vitreo-retinal diseases are Fundoscopy (using a direct or indirect ophthalmoloscope), B-Scan, A-scan, Retinal Imaging, Fundus Fluorescein Angiography (FFA) and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT).
Trauma to the eye or a longstanding tear can lead to partial or complete detachment of the retina, resulting in a sudden loss of vision. A Vitreoretinal surgeon can fix this condition using a gas bubble or silicon oil to hold the detached retina in place. Prompt treatment of retinal detachment usually results in better prognosis. For degenerative conditions like Macular Degeneration, drugs like Avastin, Lucentis and Macugen may be injected inside the eye. Diabetic Retinopathy is controlled by freezing or burning the affected part of the retina (by Retinal Cryopexy of Retinal Photocoagulation) to control the growth of abnormal blood vessels and prevent further loss of vision.