Vitrectomy Recovery (30 year old)

Hey All

I’m not sure if this is even the right place to pose this as I’m very new to this forum site but it’s been very helpful in finding some information I need.

Five days ago I had Vitrectomy surgery after some bleeding that caused floaters and blurred vision, there was no rush for this to be done and I waited around 3 months, mainly because I’m only 30 and there was no retinal detachment, just discomfort.

The surgery went well and everything was cleared up in my left eye and I now have X4 drops per day in the effected eye, my only issue is I have no idea what the recovery time should be or when I will start to see improvements. My surgeon has gone away for 4 weeks so I don’t have a checkup until he’s back but my vision is at around 15% currently, only seeing rough shapes and very dimmed light. As I didn’t have any retinal detachment and the surgery was relatively quick I was expecting better results and I’m terrified that my eye isn’t healing at all.

Am I worrying too much too soon? I won’t know anything until 3 weeks time when my surgeon is back but any advise on any others who’ve had the same and how long it took before vision restored. My vision was no where near this bad pre-op and I’m worried it won’t heal.

Many thanks all, again, sorry if this is not placed in the right place, I’ve literally just signed up to this site.



First of all, welcome to the TuDiabetes community, @Liam_Kane! Doctors usually set up some type of back-up coverage when they are unavailable to support their patients. While your questions don’t sound like an emergency, I understand your concern. It’s your eyesight we’re talking about and it’s important – especially in such a young guy.

Give the doctor’s office a call and see if you can talk on the phone with a back-up doctor. Your symptoms may be totally routine and if that’s true then knowing that would comfort you as you heal.

I’m sorry, I’ve not had a vitrectomy, so I can’t help you with that. I’ve read many comments over the years about this topic from others here, so I think you’ll hear from at least a few of them. I’m currently recovering from cataract surgery in both eyes so I understand a little about your concern. I do have a condition known as an epiretinal membrane whose principle treatment is a vitrectomy, so that’s why your post caught my eye.

Good luck with learning more. Follow up with your doctor’s office and talk to his/her back-up. Your concern is legit and should not be dismissed.


Many Thanks @Terry4 I have a relative that has had X2 cataract procedures and they are doing very well! Unfortunately with a vitrectomy I think it’s an 80% chance of developing a cataract as a result of the surgery but I’ll deal with that as and when it happens!

I’m going to call tomorrow and speak with another member of the surgical eye team and seek some answers and hopefully that will put me at ease!

Once again, thanks for the warm welcome to the site!


In the meantime you can search our site using the magnifying glass icon in the upper right of the screen. I just did a search using the term, “vitrectomy” and it yielded many posts.


Are you sleeping on your stomach? It usually takes 4-6 weeks but for some, like me, it took a little longer. I was a couple years younger then you at the time. Just be patient. It will get better. Saying a prayer for you. Good Luck.


Hi Bonnie

I didn’t have a gas bubble put in so they didn’t really give me any positioning instructions, just to cover it when I sleep with a patch.

That’s good to know on the time length, I guess I’ve asked an impossible question as everyone is different but nice to hear it wasn’t months and months.

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Hi, @Liam_Kane. If you didn’t get a gas bubble, did they put in silicone oil? When I last had a vitrectomy, about five years ago, this was the method they used. You don’t have to lie in a certain position for weeks, but you generally require a second vitrectomy several months later to remove the oil and replace it with saline. Unless there’s now a completely new method I haven’t heard of!

Vision recovery does, as you say, differ by patient. I’ve heard people say it takes a week or so, and for others it takes months. What you particularly want to look out for is anything that looks like a curtain or a veil across your vision, often from the top or one side to about halfway down. Not to scare you, but this is a sign of a retinal detachment, and you should hustle to your hospital if that happens.

Good luck with your recovery!


Welcome to the TU forum @Liam_Kane

Your concern post-vitrectomy is shared by all of us who’ve had or are considering having one.

I had two of them done about 25 years ago (I was 36 and developed retinopathy spontaneously in both eyes). I had a great deal of concern, because over the space of 18 months I lost total vision in both my eyes.

I’m happy to say that with laser photo-coagulation and vitrectomies, I had complete recovery of total vision in both eyes. As I recall the return of vision was a 6-12 week agonizingly slow process, but ultimately I had full vision.

The only deficit I have from the process is a complete loss of night vision.


I have had vitrectomies in both eyes. It takes a few weeks for your eyes to clear out the haze. Bit by it you will start to see things better. Eventually, your eye will be completely clear, much like before anything bad happened to it.

If you didn’t have any lasering yet, you might be up for that next after your eye is fully healed.

Try to be patient. Things will get better. My vitrctomies were about eight years ago. I require frequent monitoring, but for the most part my eyes have been pretty good.

Best of luck!


Yeah silicone oil was the choice during my surgery so I’m confident I’ll need to go back in at some point and have that removed, one of the guys on my ward was having that done and he said it was nothing compared to the surgery in regards to length so I’m not too worried about that!

I’ll be sure to look out for those warning signs! That’s for the heads up on those for sure!

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Just a little update on this as I had a checkup yesterday, there is still a lot of curve on the retina and it’s not flat like my right eye, I’m very concerned about this as I did not have a gas bubble put in and the photos of the eye pre-op where not nearly as bad.

My vision is improving but I now know the extreme blurring is from my retina still not being flat to the back of the eye, my surgeon seems to think this may flatten on its own and I have to return back in 10 days, not the best news and I’m hoping I won’t need further surgery, I’ve not heard of such a thing working out on it’s own, especially when it’s the retina that is still effected.

Just more waiting and hopefully healing


My understanding is that it can. The silicone is a heavy oil, so it exerts pressure on the retina. Ideally this gives the retina time to “heal” in place properly and permanently before the oil is replaced (or, in the case of a gas bubble, before the bubble is absorbed into the saline). Yes, you can only wait at this stage. Fingers crossed!

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Just as fyi, but I had first vitrectomy in 1985 !
Prior to vitrectomy, I was scheduled for laser treatments, but delayed due to equipment issues, and not that many places had them. So my eyes worsened, but eventually was able to get laser treated. However within 6 months, more bleeds, and they recommended vitrectomy.

I was admitted to hospital late afternoon, for procedure to be done following day, 6am. I was put under, and not sure how long procedure took. Back in room, I had to lay face down, and on soft/liquid diet for 3 days, before release.

The equipment used back then was more risky, so it was recommended to delay procedure so by the time I had it, my vision was hand motion only. Fortunately I did recover significant sight, but took a while. Had vitrectomy 15 years later on other eye and was surprised when done as office visit!

I’m amazed at hearing of others getting newer, improved laser treatments that prevent or delay getting as bad as mine got.
(Along with much better D-tech, meds that prevent the complications in the first place.)


I just had a vitrectomy last April and was only 27 at the time so I also waited a few months until we decided to do the surgery. I think my Dr. would’ve made me wait longer if I didn’t work in the dental field and didn’t need to see perfectly for my job. The recovery process for me was actually pretty quick. I remember the first few days it seemed like I would never see out of that eye again (it was much worse than pre surgery) but eventually I saw the gas bubble getting smaller. For me personally my vision got better every day until the bubble completely went away (I think it took a week or two) and then it also improved after it was gone. I hope you have a speedy recovery! Im sure you cant wait to see again!


My eyes have been pretty much good so far. No bleeds, however I have more and more floaters.
Does anyone get vitrectomy for floaters?
Right now I can see fine, however I get tricked by them often.
I think the sink is dripping or or there is a bug flying around me.

My doctor told me it’s normal, and they do settle out after a while but I tend to grow new ones.

He told me I don’t want to go through that unless I absolutely need it. Sooooo putting up w it for now

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