RECURRENT MACULAR HOLES IN THE ERA OF SMALL-GAUGE VITRECTOMY: A Review of Incidence, Risk Factors, and Outcomes

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Abstract

Purpose:

To evaluate the preoperative features, intraoperative management, and postoperative outcomes of recurrent macular holes that developed after initial successful repair with small-gauge vitrectomy techniques.

Methods:

We retrospectively reviewed 392 eyes with idiopathic macular holes successfully treated with small-gauge vitrectomy. Thirteen of these eyes underwent reoperation after macular hole reopening. We assessed patient demographics, visual acuity, postoperative anatomical success, potential precipitating clinical factors of hole reopening, and details of the surgical repairs of these eyes.

Results:

Macular hole reopening occurred in 13 (3.3%) of 392 eyes in a mean of 28 months (range, 1–120 months) after initial repair. All 13 recurrent holes closed after a second vitrectomy, but 4 (31%) holes reopened again and had vitrectomy. Of these, 2 reopened a third time. Ultimately, 11 (85%) holes were closed at the most recent follow-up. The mean best-corrected visual acuity was 20/81 before initial repair, 20/148 after the first reopening, 20/115 after repair of the first reopening, and 20/55 after repair of >1 reopening. Ten of 13 (77%) patients had, or later developed, macular holes in the other eye during follow-up.

Conclusion:

Reoperation successfully achieved hole closure and ultimate visual improvement in most eyes with recurrent macular holes. Most patients with recurrent holes previously had, or later developed, full-thickness macular holes in the other eye.

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