Home Home
 
Floaters, FDA:
Floater Types-Success Floater Types-Success
F.D.A. and Floaters F.D.A. and Floaters
 
Cost and Candidate:
Cost and Insurance Cost and Insurance
Candidate? Candidate?
Young Patients Young Patients
 
Laser Treatment:
Our Procedure Our Procedure
Before/After Photos Before/After Photos
Science Background Science Background
Patient Testimonials Patient Testimonials
Our Contributions Our Contributions
Why Few Doctors Why Few Doctors
 
Safety:
Benefits and Risks Benefits and Risks
Our Floater Study Our Floater Study
Protecting the retina Protecting the retina
Operative Permit Operative Permit
 
Our Equipment:
Our Laser Our Laser
Our Contact Lenses Our Contact Lenses
 
Other Treatment:
Vitrectomy Vitrectomy
 
More Information:
Our Book Our Book
Eleven Most Interesting Cases Eleven Most Interesting Cases
World literature listing World literature listing
Links Links
 
Seeing Dr. Karickhoff:
Exam. In Your City Exam. In Your City
You In Our Office You In Our Office
International Patients International Patients
Map, Airports, Airlines, Train, Motels, Subway Map, Airports, Airlines, Train, Motels, Subway
Fun In Falls Church Fun In Falls Church
Seeing Washington Seeing Washington
 
Your Surgeon:
Know Dr. Karickhoff - Beyond Floaters Know Dr. Karickhoff - Beyond Floaters
Audio Greeting from Dr. Karickhoff Audio Greeting from Dr. Karickhoff
Our Goals Our Goals
Our Laser Experience Our Laser Experience
Our Gallery Our Gallery
Our Firsts Our Firsts
 
Ocular Innovation:
Why Innovate? Why Innovate?
Dr. K's Unique Career in Innovation, Photos & his Curriculum Vitae Dr. K's Unique Career in Innovation, Photos & his Curriculum Vitae
Dr. K's Video On Innovation Basics Dr. K's Video On Innovation Basics
Ocular Innovation Awards Ocular Innovation Awards
Dr. K. on Advanced Innovation Tasks (for doctors) Dr. K. on Advanced Innovation Tasks (for doctors)
 
Contact Us Contact Us
 

VITRECTOMY PROCEDURE

Image



   We do not offer and seldom recommend the vitrectomy procedure for removal of isolated vitreous floaters because even in the best of hands the procedure has a high rate of significant complications. Approximately 50 per cent of patients over 50 years old get a cataract within five years. Below age 50 the rate of cataract formation is much less. There is also a significant rate of retinal tears and retinal detachment, and a lesser rate of infection and leaks from the incisions. Even with these complications, vitrectomy remains an invaluable technology for treating some diseases.
   With the vitrectomy procedure it is possible to remove all the vitreous of the eye and any floaters it contains. The procedure is usually quite imprecise for floaters so instead of removing just the floaters, they attempt to remove most of the vitreous in hopes on removing the floaters in the process. The surgical technique and instrumentation of vitrectomy was largely perfected at Duke University Eye Center where Dr. Karickhoff received his ophthalmology training and remains on their Advisory Board.
   The procedure consists of opening the outer layer of the eye and then making three incisions through the inner wall of the eye. A tube to supply saline into the eye during the procedure is inserted into the eye through the first incision and sewed in place. A fiberoptic light pipe is inserted through the second incision, and a sucker-cutter instrument is inserted through the third incision. The fluid inflow is started, the light is turned on, and the suction and cutting is started. The vitreous is cut and sucked up and is replaced by saline.
   Vitrectomy was designed to be used to remove blood filled vitreous, and inflammatory or infection debrie. It can also be used in association with retinal detachment surgery or to remove small foreign bodies from the vitreous.
   By contrast, the laser treatment of floaters we offer is the result of laser research carried out specifically to avoid the dangers of vitrectomy noted above. What researchers dreamed of was a non-thermal, precise disruption of tissue without disturbing other ocular structures and without surgically opening the eye. Our laser procedure is a much safer procedure than vitrectomy, does get rid of the floaters not just break them into smaller floaters, and is not associated with the problems listed above of vitrectomy (See World Literature page this web site).
   Vitrectomy may be recommended if the floater is truly debilitating, and it is too big to be removed by the safer laser procedure. We are more likely to recommend it if the patient has already had cataract removal (they now can't get a cataract) and if they have a posterior vitreous detachment (making retinal tears and detachment less likely).