Gas Tamponade

In certain vitrectomy cases, the space developing after the removal of vitreous gel is filled with some special gases. This method is used in some retinal surgeries, particularly in macular hole and retinal detachment surgeries.

Figure 1. Apposition of gas bubble against the posterior pole and macula during face down positioning.

Patients to whom gas infusion is applied are asked to lie down in a certain position without moving. The purpose is to have it suppress the retinal tear held upward in a position lighter than the fluid due to gravity. The patient is asked to lie face down in macular surgery. Since the macula is right behind the eye, the mechanical suppressing power of the gas bubble can only be used in this position. In retinal tears involving a more peripheral area, the patient is recommended bed rest in different positions.

Gas bubbles totally disappear within 2 to 8 weeks. During this time, the patient first complains about blurred vision and then describes curved shadows. Since the gases can expand due to atmospheric pressure, patients are forbidden to get on airplanes or go up high mountains until this gas is completely removed from the eye.