Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive

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Question:
What procedure is used for removing blood from the back of the eye? My husband is diabetic and is growing new vessels because of the bleeding.

Answer:
The procedure for removing blood from the vitreous cavity of the eye is called a vitrectomy. When blood enters this area due to diabetes, trauma, injury, retinal tears, retinal detachments, vascular occlusions, or intraocular tumors, it can obstruct vision, depending upon the amount and location of the blood. This operation must be performed by an Eye M.D. (ophthalmologist). Some general ophthalmologists are very skilled at this, but most are performed by fellowship-trained vitreoretinal surgeons. Some call them retinologists, but I personally do not like the term.

If your husband is growing new blood vessels from his retina, laser treatment is the best course. This can stop the bleeding, and allow the blood to clear on its own. Intraocular injections are useful if the central retina is swollen. If surgery is needed, laser treatments are often given in the operating room; otherwise, they are done in the ophthalmologist's office.

It is imperative that your husband strictly control his diet, exercise, regulate his blood pressure, and tightly control his blood sugar. If not, he is risking blindness, kidney failure, and painful neuropathy.

Answered by: Richard G. Shugarman, MDDr. Richard Shugarman

Categories: Eye Surgery

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Answered: Apr 30, 2013

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