Safety of vitrectomy for floaters

H. Stevie Tan, Marco Mura, Sarit Y. Lesnik Oberstein, Heico M. Bijl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


• Purpose: To assess the risks of vitrectomy for the removal of primary and secondary vitreous opacities. • Design: Retrospective, nonrandomized, interventional case series. • Methods: We reviewed the results of 116 consecutive cases of vitrectomy for vitreous floaters. Eighty-six cases were primary and 30 cases were secondary floaters. Main outcome measures were the incidence of iatrogenic retinal breaks and postoperative rhegmatogenous retinal detachments. • Results: We found iatrogenic retinal breaks in 16.4% of operations. There was no statistically significant difference in risk between cases of primary and secondary floaters. Intraoperative posterior vitreous detachment induction was found to increase significantly the risk of breaks. Retinal detachment occurred in 3 cases (2.5%), all after operations for primary floaters. One case of complicated retinal detachment ended with a low visual acuity of hand movements. Cataract occurred in 50% of phakic cases. Transient postoperative hypotony was found after 5.2% of our operations, and transient postoperative high intraocular pressure was encountered in 7.8%. An intraoperative choroidal hemorrhage occurred in 1 case, which resolved spontaneously. The mean visual acuity improved from 0.20 to 0.13 logarithm of the minimal angle of resolution units. • Conclusions: The risk profile of vitrectomy for floaters is comparable with that of vitrectomy for other elective indications. Retinal breaks are a common finding during surgery and treatment of these breaks is crucial for the prevention of postoperative retinal detachment. Patients considering surgery for floaters should be informed specifically about the risks involved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)995-998
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of ophthalmology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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