An epiretinal membrane may be treated with a vitrectomy, a form of keyhole surgery that uses small probes to enter inside the eye to remove the vitreous and peel off the epiretinal membrane. A gas may then be injected into the eye to replace the vitreous and prevent it from pulling on the retina.
Following surgery, the patient may need to lie in a face-down position for one to two days to allow the gas bubble to press against the macula to smoothen it. The eye will refill naturally with fluid.
Eyes with long-standing epiretinal membrane may not be treated with surgery if the vision is unlikely to improve after surgery. Some epiretinal membranes may be present in the early stages which are less serious and may just require follow-up by an ophthalmologist.
The success of improving the vision varies from person to person and ranges from 80% to 90%. In the majority of eyes, the surgery improves the symptoms of blurred or distorted vision.
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