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Silicone Oil

For certain vitreous eye surgeries, silicone oil was a common replacement for your vitreous, allowing your eye surgeon to better see inside your eye for procedure such as a detached retina repair. After the surgery, the silicone oil remains in your eye for up to six months before being removed in a separate surgery. This procedure isn’t used as much today due to complications from silicone oil eye surgery. Call the experienced retina specialistat Vitreous Retina Macula Consultants of New York to discover whether silicone oil in the eye is right for you.

What Is SiliconeOil in the Eye Treatment?

Silicone Oil Removal
Silicone Oil Removal

Silicone oil is used during surgical eye procedures such as a retinal tear repair. A top ophthalmologist may use silicone oil as a tamponade or plug to arrest hemorrhaging within your eye during a vitreous procedure, such as a vitrectomy. The silicone oil acts as intraocular tamponade because it’s viscous enough to adhere to the retina and hold it in place.

The vitreous is the fluid that fills most of your eye. In certain surgeries, this fluid is drained from your eye to give the surgeon a better view of your retina. During retinal repair surgeries, the oil provides a clearer view than air, gas or saline, which are the alternatives. Silicone oil, because of its viscosity, also prevents vitreous hemorrhage and other complications.

While silicone oil offers significant benefits in retinal eye surgery, it’s not meant to be a long-term solution. Your eye surgeon, therefore, has to remove the silicone oil in a second surgical procedure to avoid any complications. So rely on the best ophthalmologists, like those at Vitreous Retina Macula Consultants of New York (VRMNY). They’re leaders in advanced eye treatments, including silicone oil removal eye surgery.

When Is Silicone Oil Used in Eye Treatments?

Silicone oil has become part of vitreoretinal surgery since the 1960s. While research continued on the safety and effectiveness of silicone oil as a retinal tamponade, eye doctors continued its use for multiple eye retinal surgeries, such as:

  • Surgery to repair giant retinal tears
  • Vitreous surgery for complicated retinal detachments
  • Retinal detachment caused by trauma
  • Proliferative vitreoretinopathy, a complication from certain eye surgeries
  • Diabetic tractional detachment
  • Viral retinitis
  • Ocular trauma

In all these cases, the goal is to promote safer and more efficient eye treatment. After years of continued research, eye doctors have discovered complications linked to silicone oil, so the technique isn’t used as much anymore. But it’s still a useful tool for certain conditions. At VRMNY, your eye doctor only uses the safest surgical procedures, practicing the gold standard in eye treatment.

Why Is Silicone OilRemoval Eye Surgery Necessary?

If you experience vision problems or other complications after an eye surgery, consult an eye specialist at VRMNY about the presence of silicone oil in your eye. The silicone oil removal from an eye procedure is a necessary follow-up step in retina repair surgeries. If you have silicone oil in your eye for a prolonged period, it causes vision issues and other complications. Through silicone oil removal eye surgery, your eye doctor:

  • Reduces the risks of complications such as cataracts, glaucoma and keratopathy
  • Improves your visual acuity by mitigating refractive errors
  • Reduces interocular pressure that can lead to glaucoma and other complications
  • Corrects or improves unexplained vision loss associated with silicone oil in the eyes
  • Reduces the risk of silicone emulsification, when the oil separates from your natural vitreous

While silicone oil improves some aspects of eye surgery, your ophthalmologist discusses the risks and follow-up surgery with you. The experienced retina specialists at the most established New York eye practice use the latest techniques for eye surgery. That’s why you can trust the respected physicians at VRMNY.


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What Improves theSuccess of Silicone Oil in Eye Surgery?

Eye doctors use silicone oil as a useful tamponade agent because of its features, such as surface tension and viscosity. Silicone oil has multiple benefits as a tamponade agent. It withstands atmospheric pressure and is ideal for patients who have to fly or travel to high-altitude areas. Strategies to improve the effect of silicone oil for eye surgery include:

  1. Silicone oil fill. When the vitreous in your eye is removed for a surgical procedure, sufficient silicone oil has to be used to fill the eye, creating a stable volume and pressure.
  2. Efficient insertion of silicone oil. To minimize the risk of your retina slipping, experienced eye doctors know how to out the silicone oil into your eye without causing any other damage.
  3. Silicone oil removal. Using silicone oil in your eye is considered a temporary measure. To avoid complications, your eye doctor removes it after three to six months. An oil removal procedure eliminates the risk of complications that can arise from retained oil droplets. Your eye surgeon chooses the most effective technique for the oil removal based on an assessment of your eye.

The use of silicone oil in retinal detachment surgery still continues because of the immense benefits this compound offers. It stays in your eye until your eye doctor decides to remove it in a separate procedure. The best eye doctors create an oil removal plan early enough and advise you about the follow-up surgery.

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How Is Silicone OilRemoval Eye Surgery Performed?

The silicone oil removal procedure is a secondary surgical procedure after the initial vitreous surgery. This is an outpatient procedure at your ophthalmologist’s office, and usually all that you require is local anesthesia in the form of numbing eye drops. The different techniques for silicone oil removal from the eye include:

  • Hybrid silicone oil removal technique that combines the use of viscous fluid extraction and fluid-air exchanges
  • Oil emulsification and active suction
  • Silicone oil removal and cataract extraction

With silicone oil removal, the risk of recurrent retinal detachments may rise. Your eye doctor reduces the risk by using advanced methods, such as a prophylactic laser or panretinal photocoagulation. If you have eye complications a few months after vitreous surgery, contact the eye specialists at VRMNY to learn if you’re a candidate for a silicone oil removal from the eye procedure.

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

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