Are There Any Other Treatments for Macular Hole?
While surgery is the most successful treatment for all macular holes, patients may achieve successful closure through less invasive means. One such treatment involves the injection of a gas bubble into the eye in the clinic, called a pneumatic vitreolysis. By pushing on the vitreous jelly, the bubble can break the connection between the jelly and the edges of the hole, which may relieve enough traction around the hole to allow it to close.
Some macular holes are so small that they respond to eye drops. These drops are designed to dehydrate the retina, which is sometimes enough to draw the edges of the macular hole back together. This treatment only works for a significant minority of macular holes (<5%).
Do Macular Holes Reopen? What Then?
Sometime a macular hole will not close with treatment or reopen months or years later. The risk factors for unsuccessful closure include the size of the hole, how long it was present before treatment, and whether a full retinal membrane peel was performed at the time of surgery. Fortunately, the rate of macular hole recurrence is less than 5% in most studies.
If a macular hole is persistent, the only real treatment option is to return to surgery. The surgeon can perform additional surgical maneuvers that were not done in the first surgery, including enlarging the retinal membrane peel, using a longer acting gas bubble, and increasing the time in face-down positioning.
Retinal surgeons worldwide continue to explore new ways to close persistent macular holes. Several new techniques have been proposed, including placing tissue over the hole, physically pushing/pulling the edges of the macular hole together, and using retinal incisions to relax the tension on the macular surface. While each method reports some success, it is yet unknown which will prove the most effective and easiest to perform.
Macular Hold Specialists in Sarasota and Manatee
At Retina Care Consultants, P.A., we are experts at problems involving the macula, including macular hole surgery. If you have developed this condition or think you need macular hole surgery in Sarasota or Manatee county, we can help. Call us to set up a dilated eye examination this week with one of our experienced ophthalmologists. This exam may involve photographs or other specialized imaging tests of the retina. There are effective surgical treatments for macular holes, so do not delay your evaluation.
Contact us today for more information regarding macular holes or macular hole surgery in Sarasota, FL, and Manatee County. You can also visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology patient information website or the American Society of Retina Specialists patient information website: http://www.asrs.org/patients/retinal-diseases/4/macular-hole.