In cases where floaters negatively affect a patient’s quality of vision, laser therapy (laser floater removal) and surgical treatment options are available.
Laser Floater Treatment (LFT) is a minimally invasive procedure that can eliminate or reduce the visual disturbance caused by floaters. During treatment, nanosecond pulses of laser light are used to evaporate the collagen and hyaluronin molecules within the floater, converting them to a gas. The end result is that the floater is removed and/or reduced in size, significantly improving quality of vision.
The surgical treatment of floaters involves removal of the vitreous humor and carries a significant risk of bleeding and infection. It can also result in cataract formation. Depending on your diagnosis, there are several forms of surgery available:
Pars Plana Vitrectomy
Pars Plana vitrectomy (PPV) is typically performed to treat diseases of the retina such as detachment or proliferative diabetic retinopathy. It involves the removal of the entire vitreous humor, which is then replaced with a balanced, electrolyte saltwater solution. On average, PPV takes 1-2 hours to perform.
In the case of Floater-Only Vitrectomy (FOV), only the floater-affected portion of the vitreous humor is removed. While FOV results in fewer complications than total vitrectomy (PPV), remnants of floaters may remain post-surgery, resulting in significant patient discomfort and frustration.