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Eye surgeries are complex enough, but the retinotomy procedure and the retinectomy surgery are more advanced than normal. While they’re often not your eye surgeon’s first recommendation for treatment, they’re done to protect your vision when necessary. And the best ophthalmologists to perform these procedures operate out of Vitreous Retina Macula Consultants of New York, retinal centers. With locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Westchester, these eye doctors use state-of-the-art equipment and the latest techniques to save your vision. Call the practice today to schedule a consultation if you notice vision problems.

What’s the Difference Between a Retinotomy and a Retinectomy?

A retinotomy involves cutting into your retina. The extent of the cut depends on the eye procedure. A top ophthalmologist may cut a hole to allow subretinal fluid to drain or to gain access to the subretinal space. A retinectomy, on the other hand, involves removing the subretinal membrane as part of a treatment for retinal traction, a condition that threatens your vision. Both procedures improve your vision by correcting retinal disorders.


A retinotomy is the more common surgery, as it’s a complementary procedure during a retina detachment repair. The surgery may also be coupled with vitrectomy techniques. A retinotomy can also remove substances from under your retina or improve the outcome of subretinal surgery.

If you have a diagnosis of a retinal detachment or another retina disorder, a top retina specialist at Vitreous Retina Macula Consultants of New York (VRMNY) may recommend a retinotomy, a retinectomy or another procedure. The internationally renowned retina specialists and ophthalmologists perform the most intricate eye surgical procedures, including laser surgeries, to treat a range of eye conditions successfully.

★★★★★ Very professional and caring

Dr Sorenson and personnel at vrmny are very professional and caring. I could not be more satisfied with their attentiveness.i have patronized vrmny for four years and have not been disappointed at any time. Even through the COVID emergency the doctors and staff maintained their professionalism. I am presently recovering from surgery performed by Dr Sorenson and have absolute confidence of full and satisfactory restoration of my sight.thank you Dr Sorenson


What Does a Retinectomy Surgery Involve?

A retinectomy involves the excision of your peripheral retina without touching the central part of your retina. In this eye procedure, your eye doctor either removes the entire nonessential or functionless peripheral retinal tissue or just the fixed edge of the retinal flap. Situations where a retinectomy procedure improves your vision include:

  • Complex cases of retinal detachment. Eye doctors choose this complex procedure in situations where vitrectomy and membrane peel techniques haven’t resulted in a successful retinal detachment repair. A retinectomy offers relief for persistent vitreoretinal traction (VMT), where the vitreous in your eye is pulling on your retina. VMT can cause you to lose your sight if you don’t treat it.
  • Relaxing traction. A retinectomy procedure is also an alternative to the use of a scleral buckle. Your eye specialist may decide to place or revise an eye buckle, depending on the extent and location of the retinal traction. A retinectomy is the preferred surgical method for relieving traction.
  • Complications during retinal detachment repairs. Your ophthalmologist may recommend a retinectomy surgery to resolve proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR). This is one of the most common complications of rhegmatogenous retinal detachment, which damages your retina.

A retinotomy and a retinectomy are complex eye procedures that only the most qualified eye specialists perform. The eye doctors at VRMNY do extensive research to discover safer and more efficient eye treatments. These experienced doctors are at the forefront in innovation.

Who’s a Good Candidate for a Retinotomy or Retinectomy?

Retinal detachment is an eye emergency. It refers to a condition in which your retina is pulled away from its normal position. When this happens, it detaches from the blood vessels that supply it with nutrients. If it’s not resolved in a timely manner, a detached retina can lead to permanent vision problems. A retinotomy and retinectomy are among the more advanced procedures used to repair a detached retina and correct the associated complications. You’re a good candidate for a retinotomy or a retinectomy if:

  • You notice a sudden surge in floaters in your vision.
  • You see flashes of light that aren’t there.
  • A shadow moves across your vision.
  • You suffer decreased peripheral vision.
  • You experience blurred vision.
  • You’ve suffered complications of retinal detachment repair, such as PVR.
  • Your eye doctor has tried other retinal detachment procedures with no success.
  • Your doctor decides to do a retinotomy during a vitrectomy procedure to improve the results of the surgery.

The decision to perform a retinotomy or retinectomy depends on your diagnosis. These are complex procedures, and your eye doctor performs them only after determining other retinal surgeries can’t work. Your eye doctor at VRMNY discusses these procedures with you so you understand what it does and what’s at stake.

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What’s the Procedure for a Retinotomy or Retinectomy?

Years ago, eye doctors used a posterior drainage retinotomy, but the risk of complications has made the peripheral drainage retinotomy more reliable. If your eye doctor finds no pre-existing retinal tear or the tear is inadequate for drainage, a drainage retinotomy becomes the best solution. Your ophthalmologist decides on a retinotomy or retinectomy procedure after a clear diagnosis. In the right situation, one of these procedures alleviates the complications of retinal detachment surgery. The main steps involved include:

  • Your doctor examines your eye, completes diagnostic imaging tests and then determines the best treatment. You both discuss your eye condition and the best treatment procedure.
  • For pain relief, your eye doctor often uses general anesthesia, so you sleep through the surgery.
  • Your eye doctor performs a thorough hemostasis to stop any bleeding.
  • The retinotomy or retinectomy procedure. Depending on the procedure, extent of retinal damage or the complication, your eye doctor makes the necessary incision of the retinal tissue. The next step is the removal of tissue debris or the peripheral functionless retinal tissue. Your eye doctor reattaches the retina to correct the detachment. Finally, your eye doctor may use silicone oil, which is an effective way to hold the retina in place.
  • Your doctor observes any elevation of intraocular pressure. You get antibiotic eye drops and pain relief medication. Wearing an eye patch protects your eye. You have to avoid strenuous activities until your eye heals.

A retinectomy and retinotomy are extreme procedures required for complex eye problems. With a diagnosis for complex retinal detachment, your eye doctor at VRMNY performs these procedures to improve or even save your vision. Contact the best eye specialists today to enjoy revolutionary eye treatments at the leading eye practice in NYC.

Updated on May 17, 2022 by Ophthalmologists & Retina Specialists of Vitreous Retina Macula Consultants of New York

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