Surgical treatment for diabetic retinopathy is removal of the
vitreous gel (vitrectomy). Vitrectomy does not cure the disease, but it may improve vision in people who
have developed bleeding into the vitreous gel (vitreous hemorrhage),
retinal detachment, or severe scar tissue formation.
Unfortunately, by the time some people are diagnosed with
retinopathy (especially late-stage retinopathy), it is often too late for
vitrectomy to provide much benefit. Even with treatment,
vision may continue to decline.
In every issue of WebMD the Magazine, we ask our experts to answer readers' questions about a wide range of topics. In our January-February 2011 issue, we asked WebMD's diabetes expert, Michael Dansinger, MD, to answer a question about the link between prediabetes and diabetes.
Q: At my last checkup, my doctor told me I have prediabetes. Does that mean I'll ultimately develop diabetes?
A: Almost everyone who develops type 2 diabetes develops prediabetes first. But not everyone who has prediabetes...
Early detection of retinopathy
through dilated eye exams can help you decide to have surgery when it is most
the surgical removal of the vitreous gel.
What To Think About
Vitreous surgery (vitrectomy) for
diabetic retinopathy is effective in preventing vision loss when a person has
bleeding into the vitreous gel (vitreous hemorrhage) or retinal detachment. But
it is not a cure. This surgery is not usually done
unless these complications or severe scar tissue has already developed.
After a person has had most of the vitreous gel removed by vitrectomy,
surgery to remove scar tissue or to repair a new retinal detachment may be
Vitrectomy may require an overnight hospital stay, but it is sometimes done
as outpatient surgery. Your eye doctor will determine if the surgery can be done with
local or general anesthesia.
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