EPIRETINAL MEMBRANE REMOVAL IN EYES WITH GOOD VISUAL ACUITIES

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Abstract

Purpose:

To evaluate the results of vitrectomy for epiretinal membrane in eyes with a preoperative visual acuity of 20/50 or better.

Methods:

The visual results and complications of vitrectomy for epiretinal membranes were analyzed in a retrospective, consecutive case series of 40 eyes of 40 patients treated by a single surgeon.

Results:

The mean preoperative visual acuity was 20/50 + 2 (range 20/30 + 1 to 20/50 –3). The mean visual acuity improved to 20/40 + 2 (P = 0.02) by the final examination at a mean of 2.4 years following surgery. The status of the lens at the final examination was correlated with the visual results of surgery. Twenty-one eyes were phakic preoperatively and 14 of these eyes had cataracts removed by the final examination. The mean preoperative visual acuity in 7 eyes which were still phakic at the final examination was 20/50 and this decreased to 20/50 –2 (P = 0.82). The mean preoperative visual acuity was 20/50 + 2 in 33 eyes which were pseudophakic by the final examination and this improved to 20/32 –2 (P = 0.005). There were no other serious complications such as retinal detachment or infectious endophthalmitis.

Conclusions:

Vitrectomy for epiretinal membranes is safe in eyes with relatively good preoperative visual acuities but cataract surgery is necessary in phakic eyes to achieve long-term visual acuity improvement.

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