About epiretinal membrane treatment

In my last post, I discussed what an epiretinal membrane is and what causes it.

If the epiretinal membrane is not causing any problems with the vision, it probably does not require treatment. It may only require treatment if it is affecting your vision causing blurring or distortion. An operation may be considered if this blurring and distortion is affecting your ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. There is no harm in not having the surgery especially if the other eye is unaffected. With both eyes together you are able to carry out your daily activities. The ophthalmologist will be able to help and advise to whether an operation is required.

The only treatment to treat an epiretinal membrane is by an operation. Eye-drops will not make the epiretinal membrane disappear. This operation is called a vitrectomy. Surgery is generally very successful but there are very small risks associated with the operation. Those can be discussed with the ophthalmologist proceeding with surgery.

The steps in a vitrectomy operation are

  • Tiny cuts are made within the eye
  • The vitreous (jelly inside the eye) is removed
  • The epiretinal membrane is then peeled from the retina
  • Small stitches placed within the eye

The operation lasts about an hour and is normally carried out under local anaesthetic with you remaining comfortable and awake. After the operation, a pad will be placed on the eye and a shield over the eye to protect it. You will usually be able to go home the same day. The shield and pad will be removed the next morning. The stitches will dissolve over the next four to six weeks. The vision can take a few months to improve after the surgery.

If you would like to know more about epiretinal membrane or other aspects of the treatment, please feel free to call me on 020 7305 5063 and we can chat some more.