Intravitreal Gas

An intravitreal gas may be injected during your surgery for the following conditions:

1. Retinal Detachment/ Retinal tears

Gas is injected into the vitreous cavity to act as an internal supporting tamponade. This helps to keep the retina attached and in the correct position whilst the retina is healing.

2. Macular Hole

Gas is injected into the vitreous cavity to act as an internal supporting tamponade. This allows the edges of the retina to stay in place where the macular hole had formed.

3. Submacular Haemorrhage

Gas is injected into the vitreous cavity to displace the blood away from the centre of vision. This is important as the blood may damage the retina leaving the central vision area severely impaired.

What Visual Symptoms will I notice?

Vision will be very poor whilst the gas bubble is in the eye. Patients commonly describe the gas bubble as a spirit level or like looking through swimming goggles half filled with water. Depending on the type of gas used, it may take between 2 – 6 weeks for the gas bubble to fully dissolve and be absorbed by the eye. As the gas bubble dissolves, patients may notice that the gas bubble breaks up into several smaller bubbles, eventually disappearing completely.

Do I need to take any precautions?

Whilst gas remains in the eye, it is important that you do not fly. Also, avoid travelling at high altitudes. This is because the gas has the potential to expand at high altitudes causing pressure to increase in the eye. It is also important to let your Doctor know if you are to have a general anaesthetic whilst gas is in the eye, as Nitrous Oxide (N²0) may also cause the gas to expand in the eye.

A green alert bracelet will be applied to your wrist after the surgery. This bracelet is to stay on the arm until the gas bubble completely dissolves. It will have an emergency contact number on it. You can ring this number if you have any adverse symptoms. Alternatively, ring reception on (02) 9221 3755 if you are unsure about any of the above mentioned details.

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