The right tools for the job
Any surgery is a delicate matter, but when it comes to retina and vitreous eye procedures, small details can make a big difference. For the past decade, I have been performing vitrectomy surgery using smaller 25-gauge instruments, rather than larger 20-gauge tools.
Why 25-gauge? There are multiple benefits for using these small, precise instruments no larger than the tip of an injection needle:
- No stitches required. Unlike with 20-gauge tools, which require dissolvable sutures to close both the hard and soft outer layers of the eye, using smaller instruments means uncomfortable stitches are no longer necessary.
- Reduced pain and discomfort. A smaller incision site and lack of sutures lead to decreased post-operative discomfort, pain, inflammation and redness.
- Shorter surgery. Performing a procedure with these smaller, more precise instruments is often a much faster endeavor – an important factor that contributes to increased comfort and accelerated healing time.
- Faster healing. The smaller incision site and absence of sutures allows for a swift healing process. An eye patch and shield are typically worn for one day after the operation, with a typical total healing time between 1-2 weeks.
With the development of even smaller 30-gauge instruments on the horizon, I look forward to utilizing these smaller utensils for many successful procedures in the coming years.