Retinal Surgery

The vitreo-retinal service deals with problems such as detached retina or scarring of the retina.  Many patients will need an operation to correct the problem.

Patients are referred to this sub-specialty with the following conditions:

  1. Posterior vitreous detachment –sudden onset of flashing lights and floaters
  2. Retinal tears
  3. Retinal detachment –when the film at the back of the eye comes away
  4. Vitreous haemorrhage-bleeding in the back of the eye most commonly caused by diabetes
  5. Macular Hole-a small hole forms at the centre of the retina and causes blurred vision
  6. Macular Pucker-scar tissue forms on the surface of the retina and causes blurred vision and distortion
  7. Trauma- injuries to the back of the eye


Patients are seen in the clinic before and after surgery. Drops are used to dilate the pupils: these drops may blur the vision for 3 hours so you are unable to drive home. At the clinic you will be given a diagnosis and if surgery is necessary a date will be arranged usually within a month.


Nearly all vitreo-retinal surgery is done under a local anaesthetic as a day case procedure.The anaesthetic is introduced behind the eye with a blunt cannula so sharp needles are not required. The operation takes between 15-40 minutes but can occasionally be longer.


You may need to come back the next day for a check-up but usually you will be seen 2-3 weeks after the operation.

You will be asked to put in steroid drops three times per day for 2-3 weeks. If gas or air has been put in your eye you will not see more than your hand moving in front of your eye until the gas or air has absorbed. This can take between 3-30 days depending on which gas has been used. If you feel sick or the eye is painful in the first few days after surgery this may be due to the pressure in the eye being raised. Please get in touch if you have these symptoms.