With a suitable surgical technique, cataract surgery following vitrectomy can be safe and efficacious with refractive outcomes comparable to those accomplished in non-vitrectomised eyes, although the basal retinal pathology may increase the risk of complications and restrict visual perceptiveness. Let’s understand what do we mean by the terms “vitrectomy” and “cataract” in the first place and further see how they are related.

What is vitrectomy?

In simple terms, vitrectomy is a kind of eye surgery wherein the surgeons tends to the problems of the eye’s retina and vitreous. Vitreous is a jelly-like substance that is located in the middle of the eye, after eye lens and before the retina. Retina lining the backside of the wall is basically a layer of nerve cells that is responsible for sensing light and then sending those signals to the brain to interpret the image. A vitrectomy is done to remove any substance that may hinder the light signals from reflecting properly on the retina. An ophthalmologist may suggest the procedure in the case of a macular hole, macular pucker, endophthalmitis and certain complications during cataract surgery.

What is a Cataract?

Here, the problem lies within the lens of your eye. When light rays enter your eyes, they require to be bent in order to be properly reflected on the retina. Due to aging, injury or medical conditions like diabetes, the tissue of this lens starts to clump together forming clouding areas within the lens. The only way to properly treat this is cataract surgery.

Complications in cataract surgery after vitrectomy

Most pars plana vitrectomies eventually lead to the slow formation of cataracts. It is important to understand that vitrectomy can also cause cataracts in patients irrespective of their age, particularly with the use of intraocular gas. Though it develops at a swift rate, usually it takes a few months before a patient notices changes in the vision. Cataract surgery after vitrectomy becomes more challenging because after a vitrectomy it is possible the eye develops an excessively deep anterior chamber and the support of the lens is reduced because of the absence of the vitreous.

With modern technology and continuous medical learning, ophthalmologists can reduce these risks. Although, Cataract surgery after vitrectomy can be challenging it is not impossible and can be carried out with success. However, with a thorough preoperation evaluation, patient-based intraoperative techniques and close post-operation examination can help achieve the best results and rehabilitate vision after cataract surgery.