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Indian J Ophthalmol. 2008 Nov-Dec;56(6):453-8.

Sutureless vitrectomy.

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Retina Unit, South Australian Institute of Ophthalmology and Discipline of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Adelaide, South Australia.


Sutureless vitrectomy has rapidly been accepted as an essential part of a vitreoretinal surgical setup. The size and structure of the wound along with near intact conjunctival covering makes the incision self-sealing and safe. This allows the vitrectomy instruments to be used without creating an initial limited peritomy to expose bare sclera, and obviates the need for sutures at the end of the procedure. Wound construction is the essential step in ensuring postoperative wound stability. Both one-step and two-step wound constructions have been described. Key points include an oblique, tunneled approach to ensure a valve-like effect as well as misalignment of conjunctival and scleral wounds by displacing conjunctiva during construction. Advantages include decreased operative times in certain cases and decreased postoperative inflammation, early postoperative rehabilitation, improved patient comfort, and minimal conjunctival damage. Complications are based around wound competence, hypotony, and its relationship to endophthalmitis rates. Early reports highlighted an increase in endophthalmitis though further studies are required to accurately assess the incidence. Endophthalmitis has not been reported in cases that underwent fluid/air exchange. This review focuses on techniques, benefits, complications, personal experiences, and the safety profiles of sutureless vitrectomy systems. A literature review was undertaken using 'Medline' and 'Pubmed'. Search terms included sutureless vitrectomy, 20 gauge, 23 gauge, 25 gauge, and transconjunctival and small gauge vitrectomy.

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