Patients with macular holes notice distorted vision, with ‘jumbling up’ of letters when reading or even a blind spot in the centre of the vision from the affected eye.
Surgery is indicated when the hole is diagnosed and involves removing the vitreous humour, the clear substance which fills the back cavity of the eye. The taut lining of the retina is then removed to allow enough give for the hole to close. Finally, the eye is filled with a special gas which allows the hole to heal. Macular holes very rarely close on their own.
The main benefit is the preservation of central vision in your eye. Without treatment, almost all macular holes become chronic, with significant loss of central detailed vision. Surgery is the most successful approach to treat a macular hole. Timely treatment within weeks to a few months is essential in order to achieve the best possible results.
After surgery you will have a bubble of gas in your eye. You must not travel by air or climb high altitudes until the gas is absorbed which could take between two to four weeks. Your consultant will talk you through everything you need to know about this.
Your pre-operative appointment Before going ahead with your procedure, your consultant fully assesses your eye health. If you are having combined cataract and retinal surgery, we will carry out a biometry test to ensure your replacement lens is the correct one for you. Your consultant will explain the procedure in detail and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Vitreoretinal surgery is a relatively straightforward procedure that normally takes between 30-40 minutes. Most vitreoretinal operations are performed under a local anaesthetic. This means you will be awake, but you will not be able to feel any pain. You may see a bright light and some movement, but you will not feel any discomfort. Your surgeon will talk you through everything they are doing.
This procedure is usually carried out on a day patient basis, so you’ll be home the same day. You will not be able to drive home and we recommend having someone available to look after you for about 24 hours after your procedure.
We will arrange all necessary follow-up appointments with your consultant to ensure your recovery is complete and your vision is the best it can be.
Your optician or GP will discuss the various treatment options available to you and where you can choose to have your treatment. You’ll be able to take the time to decide where you’d like to be treated, and your GP or optician will make the arrangements for your referral.
Please follow your local protocol regarding referrals – we accept direct referrals by secure email, fax, OptoManager and post. Please call us on the number at the top of this page if you would like any further information about making a referral to Newmedica.
Send a letter to the patient’s GP with GOS18 requesting an onward referral via ERS.
For GPs and Referral Centres
Send a referral form to Newmedica with GOS18 by post or secure fax 020 7924 6262 or email to:
Cataract and oculoplastic referrals will be assessed against local criteria.
Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition that affects your retina, the light sensitive layer at the back of your eye.
Cataracts are a very common eye condition that usually develop as we age, causing cloudy or misty patches in the eye’s clear lens.
An epiretinal membrane is a benign growth of transparent scar tissue film over the macula, the centre of the light-sensitive part of the eye. They are quite common and usually develop as we age.
Medically known as oculoplastic and lacrimal surgery, this describes a variety of procedures that focus on disorders of the eyelids and tear ducts.
Glaucoma is term for a group of eye conditions that cause damage to the optic nerve, typically due to an increased pressure within the eye.
A macular hole is a small gap in the centre of the retina, the light-sensitive lining of the eye. This is what we use for seeing fine details such as when reading, watching television or threading needles.
Medical retina describes eye conditions that affect the sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye, known as the retina.
This condition means that the pressure in your eye (intraocular pressure) is higher than normal and is usually detected by your optician during a routine eye test.
Floaters are caused by fragments of the vitreous humour that fills the back cavity of the eye. As the vitreous shrinks, it forms clumps which cast shadows on the light sensitive part of the eye, the retina.