Macular Holes and Epiretinal Membrane

Procedure information

  • Surgery is usually performed under local anaesthesia with sedation. It is usually performed as a day operation.
  • Surgery involves vitrectomy and membrane peeling, and possibly gas injection.
  • Vitrectomy involves the usage of micro-instruments through the white part of the eye (sclera) to remove the vitreous gel.
  • Membrane peeling involves using micro-forceps to carefully peel off thin membranes overlying the retina.

Epiretinal membrane

  • Epiretinal membranes occur when a semi-translucent membrane forms over the macula (part of the retina used for central vision) and distorts the normal architecture.
  • Symptoms of epiretinal membrane may include decreased vision, loss of depth perception and distortion.
  • Patients who are troubled by their symptoms may benefit from vitrecto- my and membrane peeling surgery.
  • The surgery is very effective and more than 90% of patients notice an improvement in vision following epiretinal membrane surgery.

Macular hole

  • Macular holes form when pulling forces on the retina results in a defect at the most sensitive location (fovea).
  •  Symptoms of macular hole include a central blind spot, decreased vision and distortion of vision.
  • When a macular hole develops, it is very unlikely to resolve spontaneously and therefore surgery is often indicated.
  • Macular hole surgery involves vitrectomy, membrane peeling and injection of a self-absorbing gas bubble.
  • Surgery for macular hole is highly successful, and most cases have more than 95% chance of hole closure with one operation.