Patient Education: Intravitreal Gas


An intravitreal gas may be injected during your surgery if you have any of the following conditions:

Retinal Detachment/ Retinal Tears

The gas acts as an internal supporting mechanism, helping to keep the retina attached and in the correct position whilst the retina heals.

Macular Hole

The gas acts as an internal supporting mechanism, allowing the egdes of the retina to approximate where the macular hole had formed.

Submacular Haemorrhage 

The gas is used to displace blood away from the centre of vision.  This is important because the presence of blood on the retina can result in severely impaired central vision.


Visual Symptoms

Vision will be very poor whilst the gas bubble is in the eye. It can often present itself as a line in the vision and is often described as like looking through swimming goggles half filled with water.  Depending on the gas, it can take between 2-6 weeks for the gas bubble to dissolve and be absorbed by the body.  As the gas dissolves, patients may notice that the gas bubble breaks up into several smaller bubbles. 

It is necessary to posture lying face down for a certain time frame following the insertion of gas.  This allows the gas to press against the area of the retina that is damaged.  It is vital to the overall outcome and success of the surgery.  You will be advised on how long you are required to posture for following the surgery.



Whilst gas is in the eye, it is important not to fly.  Avoid travelling to high altitudes. The gas has potential to expand at high altitudes causing increased pressure in the eye.  In addition, Nitrous Oxide can cause the gas to expand so it is very important to inform all health professionals if you are to have a general anaesthetic.  For this reason you will be given a green coloured medi-alert bracelet.  This must be worn at all times until the gas bubble completely dissolves.