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Diabetes Health Center

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Diabetic Retinopathy - Surgery

Surgical treatment for diabetic retinopathy is removal of the vitreous gel (vitrectomy). Vitrectomy does not cure the disease. But it may improve vision in people who have developed bleeding into the vitreous gel (vitreous hemorrhage), retinal detachment, or severe scar tissue formation.

Unfortunately, by the time some people are diagnosed with retinopathy (especially late-stage retinopathy), it is often too late for vitrectomy to provide much benefit. Even with treatment, vision may continue to decline.

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Taking Care of Your Diabetes Every Day

The four things you have to do every day to lower high blood sugar are: 1. Eat healthy food 2. Get regular exercise 3. Take your diabetes medicine 4. Test your blood sugar. Experts say most people with diabetes should try to keep their blood sugar level as close as possible to the level of someone who does not have diabetes. This may not be possible or right for everyone. Check with your doctor about the right range of blood sugar for you. You will get plenty of help in learning...

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Early detection of retinopathy through dilated eye exams can help you decide to have surgery when it is most effective.

What to think about

After a person has had most of the vitreous gel removed by vitrectomy, surgery to remove scar tissue or to repair a new retinal detachment may be needed.

Vitrectomy may require an overnight hospital stay. But it is sometimes done as outpatient surgery. Your eye doctor will determine if the surgery can be done with local or general anesthesia.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 04, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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