For severe symptoms, a surgery called vitrectomy is recommended. The surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure in an operating room. During surgery, your ophthalmologist uses microsurgical instruments to remove the wrinkled tissue on your macula and to remove the vitreous gel that may be pulling on the macula. Sometimes an air or gas bubble is placed in the eye to help the retina heal or to seal any tears or holes.
After the tissue is gone, the macula flattens and vision slowly improves, though it usually does not return all the way to normal. After the operation, you will need to wear an eye patch for a few days or weeks to protect the eye, and you may need to do some particular head positioning if an air or gas bubble was placed in your eye during surgery. You will also need to use medicated eye drops to help the eye heal.
In most cases, while vision improves after epiretinal membrane surgery, it generally does not return to normal. It can take up to three months for vision to fully recover. On average, about half of the vision lost from a epiretinal membrane is restored; some people have significantly more vision restored, some less. In most cases, the visual distortion of epiretinal membrane is significantly reduced.
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