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Patient Information - Epiretinal Membrane

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Vaughan Tanner on epiretinal membrane surgery

Epiretinal membrane (macular pucker/cellophane maculopathy) is the name given to a form of scar tissue which grows across the macular area of the retina. It is occasionally caused by trauma or inflammation affecting the eye but in the vast majority of cases is related simply to an ageing eye and degeneration of the vitreous gel. Symptoms include blurring of vision and distortion although many membranes are asymptomatic and noted during a routine visit to the optician. In many cases symptoms are only mild and non- progressive with no requirement for surgery.

Epiretinal Membrane Epiretinal Membrane  

 

Epiretinal Membrane          

In a few case the retina is pulled out of position by a contracting membrane with distortion of the retinal vessels often best seen with fluorescein angiography as in the pictures above. If distortion is marked then membranes are usually removed via pars plana vitrectomy surgery as shown below.

Epiretinal Membrane Epiretinal Membrane        
Pars Plana Vitrectomy Per-operative view showing epi-retinal membrane being removed with micro-forceps        

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Disclaimer
The information provided in this website is intended as a useful aid to general practitioners, optometrists and patients. It is impossible to diagnose and treat patients adequately without a thorough eye examination by a qualified ophthalmologist, optometrist or your general practitioner. Hopefully the information will be of use prior to and following a consultation which it supplements and does not replace.
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