In cases where floaters negatively affect a patient’s quality of vision, laser therapy and surgical treatment options are available.
In cases where floaters (vitreous strands and opacities) negatively affect a patient’s quality of vision, laser therapy treatment is available. Laser treatment 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 hyaluronan molecules within the floater, converting them to gas. The end result is that the floater is removed and/or reduced in size, significantly improving the quality of vision.
The surgical treatment of floaters involves treatment of the vitreous humor and carries a 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 treatment 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.